Could the Final Four really lure Tiger Woods to the Houston Open?
Golf tournaments have always had their perks. From free food to luxury cars, tour events have gone into whatever-it-takes mode in recent years to make sure the biggest names in the game are in their field.
But recently, perks haven’t been enough for some events. A few have started to splash the cash, offering multi-million dollar appearance fees for some of the biggest names in the game. For tournaments that are struggling to survive, it’s become a dog-eat-dog world.
But what about the Final Four? While the perk doesn’t come with cash attached to it — could it be enough to lure one of the biggest names in the game to a place he’s never played in the past?
As Golf.com’s latest edition of “Truth and Rumors” points out, an article in CultureMap Houston posed the question if the Final Four being in Houston the same week as the tournament could be enough to lure Woods to an event he’s never played before:
Could the Final Four prompt Tiger Woods to play in the Houston Open for the first time ever? You can bet the question’s being asked (and prayed on) by Shell Open officials…
Tiger’s a courtside regular at Orlando Magic games and while he hasn’t shown quite the same love for college basketball as he has the NBA in the past, it’s no stretch to imagine him looking at a chance to attend the Final Four as a nice perk in his Masters prep. After his first winless season in 14 years on the PGA Tour, Tiger already will probably be more open to the idea of breaking up his long-held routines and playing the week before a major (the Houston Shell Open is the tournament immediately preceding Augusta).
Would Tiger really consider playing in Houston because the Final Four was being held in the same city? I doubt it. While CultureMap Houston would love to see Woods in the state of Texas (somewhere he hasn’t visited since his MC at the ’05 Byron Nelson), it really is a stretch to think Woods would deviate from his old schedule.
As we’ve seen recently, just because Woods claims to be a “new man” doesn’t mean that’s always the case. He’s still the same Tiger Woods, and that probably means playing in the same tournaments he’s always played in before.
Unless the tour pushes the proposed one-in-four rule in the near future, that’s probably the only way golf fans in the Lone Star State will ever get the chance to see Woods tee it up.