British Open- duel for the ages

Very surprised that there is no thread. Stenson and Mickelson are 8 clear of the rest of the field, keep trading hot streaks with the putter. I’d hate to see Phil finish 2nd again.

Very reminiscent of Watson and Nicklaus down the coast a bit at Turnberry in 1997.

I had it on for background noise but then I got sucked in and actually started watching. Hell of a last round. I’m rooting for Phil.

Stenson is utterly unconscious. Norman’s aggregate total may be toast, and if he sinks that putt he ties Tiger’s under par record.

That was a crazy round. Who would have ever thought going 6 under on the last round would come in second? It’s fun to see a round where there’s great play instead of a run away.

This is why golf doesn’t belong in the Olympics. As a Phil fan, I’m crushed. But that was an amazing round of golf by both golfers played on an amazing course. A gold medal battle somewhere in the Brazilian rain forest can’t compete.

I watched it straight through, mesmerized. That may be the best Major final round Phil has ever played. What are the odds that the final round final pairing each come up with the best two rounds of the day? Stenson picked up holes on every other golfer in the field. 10 birdies for Stenson. No bogeys for Phil. Has there ever been a final round dual of that quality in a major?

As mentioned above, Jack vs. Tom in the 1977 Open.

Golf threads rarely do well here.

Sure was an amazing round by Stenson. And an amazing pairing. Bet Johnny was pissed to lose his unique final round #! He handled it better than I would have imagined.

Something my wife asked - do you think Tiger was watching? I assume so. But the guy was all about playing - and winning, moreso than watching.

Who is the guy who snapped a club over his knee and tossed it in the bushes? Happened right as we got into the clubhouse after being called off due to lightning after 6.

Was too young to remember that one. But I just googled it and Nicklaus’ 65-66 for the weekend rounds only to be topped by Watson’s 65-65 is unbelievable. I saw that the winner’s check was only £10,000 or $17,000. I know there’s been significant inflation since then but times have sure changed. Did the lower ranked players, e.g. 125th on the money list struggle to live?

The British Open was a low-rent tournament until the 1980’s, which is one of several reasons why not that many Americans played it. For comparison, the winner of the US Open got $45,000 that same year (1977).

The earliest complete listing of money winners I could find on the PGA website is 1980. In that year, the 125th golfer on the money list made a little less than $20,000, while the median US family income was about $21,000. Since endorsements weren’t as lucrative back then, and since a golfer had large travel, hotel, restaurant, and caddie expenses, it seems that it would be very, very difficult for a player that far down to support a career on tour earnings alone.

However, number 74 on the money list made over $50K, and number 44 made over $100K, so you didn’t need to win any events to make a good living.

Database Golf has money list dating back to 1970

But the only way I can find it on their website is via Google and a back door link

Here are the google results when I search on “1977 PGA Tour Money List” and it comes up as the third link


Here is the 1977 money list, you can change the year by editing the hyperlink

disclaimer: Databasegolf is not 100% accurate.

Thanks. I’m guessing pro golfers with entourages traveling around with them all year is a relatively recent thing.

Not just golfers. Baseball free agency began within my lifetime. Similar for other sports. NBA finals weren’t televised live. There were a few football superstars, and the rest had off-season jobs.

A lot of people think Tiger brought unprecedented money into golf, but the truth is that money in golf has been closely correlated with the other mainstream US Sports for years and years.

What Tiger did for golfers is open golfers to get sponsored. Watch some of the replays of Majors prior to the Tiger era, and you see golfers with shirts with very few logos. Maybe a logo-ed hat.

Now golfers have logos on each side of the chest, on shirt sleeves, on collars, on the upper back, a couple on the hat, and the golf bag. Many World Class Pros have sold out all their “real estate”. Lord help us if “Dicks Sporting Goods” starts sponsoring Belt buckles and zippers. :smirk:

Getting pretty ridiculous when Phil is sponsoring binder clips on his cap…

Except that golf isn’t a mainstream sport. The number of kids who grow up playing golf is a small fraction of the number who grow up playing baseball, football, or basketball, and before Tiger, the number of people who watched golf on TV was a small fraction of the other sports’ viewership.

There’s no law that says athletes’ salaries in smaller sports have to keep pace with the NFL. Pro golf and pro bowling paid about the same in 1960. Pro bowling prize money has maybe tripled since then; the British Open now pays the winner about a thousand times more than it did in 1960.

I give full credit to Arnie for a lot of that. He came along at just the right time, when TV started covering golf live, and he was the perfect ambassador to the non-golfing public — handsome, athletic, charismatic, great with the fans and press, and an all-time great golfer. He was the King.

Nicklaus, Watson, and Norman all helped sustain golf’s numbers on TV, but only Tiger can compare to Arnie for his impact on viewership and prize money. He is absolutely responsible for the huge increase in money since he turned pro, as well as the success of the Golf Channel, which used to show him about 23 hours a day.

Thomas Pieters. Rory McIlroy also smashed a club during the third round.

Not a mainstream sport?

There is more PGATour golf on the four major networks (Live TV) than any other professional sport which includes the NFL. At least 6 hours every weekend from late January to late September. (One off week). And it is a high participation sport. I don’t see many adults playing football or baseball. Just because ESPN doesn’t cover it much anymore doesn’t mean it is not mainstream sport.

There was more growth in golf Purses from 1979 to 1996 than from 1996 to 2015. And if you don’t like percent increases, then how do you account that the Memorial increased from 6.4 Million to 8.5 Million from last year to this year. I doubt if many tournaments grew by 2 million dollars in one year during the Tiger era. Bay Hill has a similar increase announced for next year.

Fox recently took over the USGA contract for about 90 Million per year. Tiger had not been a factor on a US Open Sunday since 2010 and that was barely a bit part. Gregory Havret was paired with Tiger in the penultimate group and beat him heads up. Frenchmen Gregory Havret.

All this is when Tiger has not won a tournament in 3 years, he hasn’t been seen on a golf course for 11 months and is ranked 625th in the OWGR.

What is mostly ignored by Tiger sycophants is that Tim Finchem became the commissioner and coupled with a period of slow growth in the early 1990’s it was a perfect storm for a high growth period during the late 1990s and early 2000’s. Was Tiger a factor? Sure he was, I am not denying that but IMO, it was a question of the Total being greater than the sum of the parts.

If the Tiger-effect was the major contribution, then it would not have slowed down from 2005-2010, it would have continued growing. The Growth that we are seeing is now is a recovery period from the 2005-2013 era. Just like what would have been expected in the late 90’s

Majors and Players have gone up to 10 Million dollar purses (US Open from $8M to $10M)
WGC’s are up to 9.5 Million dollar purses (Bridgestone from $8.75M in 2013 to $9.5M in 2016)
Invitationals like Memorial and Bay Hill, up to 8.5 Million. (Memorial from $6.2 in 2013 to $8.5 in 2016)

These are big increases, all in the last 3 years.

There is going to be pressure for the Regular PGA Touranments to “keep up with the Jones”, and I think you will see the Canadian Opens and Zurich Classics in the $7.2 to $8.0 Million level in the next couple of years.

Again, IMO, Tiger did impact other players wallets greatly…but the wallets were primarily fatten by off course income. And he did have impact on purses, just IMO, not as much as most pundits think he did.

If it is now, it’s because of Tiger.

Right, thanks to Tiger.

“Television contracts have fueled the growth in prize money, which has gone from about $80 million in Woods’ first full season in 1997 to nearly $280 million this year [2011]. For years, TV ratings spike when he plays and are even higher when he wins.”

As the article notes, the major networks signed a 9-year contract extension 2011, to sync up with the unprecedented 15-year contract the Golf Channel signed in 2007, shortly after Tiger had won an amazing 7 PGA events in a row. Tiger was down in 2011, and the CBS execs are quoted as saying the weren’t betting the farm on him coming back, but it’s clear that it was Tiger that put golf over the tipping point as a major weekend viewer magnet, and no matter what anybody said, they were obviously hoping he would come back (as he did in 2013, and as Phil and Henrick just demonstrated, he’s not too old to do it again). The increases in prize money you cite are all part of that contract – they’re not due to Jordan-mania.

That’s actually way too high a ranking for somebody who hasn’t been healthy enough to play for a year. But nobody can be so dumb that they think the contracts negotiated in 2011 are tied to Tiger’s current-year performance.

… is everything that follows the word “sycophant,” or “slurper,” or “sniffer.” I may have been mistaken in my previous comment.