With the exception of the majors, WGC events and a handful of high-profile PGA and European Tour tournaments, golf fans rarely get the opportunity to see the best golfers in the world tee it up in the same field.
And you can usually forget about seeing a majority of the big names following the Ryder Cup/President Cup … until now. As the Daily Mail story reported, an unsanctioned eight-man match play event in Turkey is currently in the works that would include Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Justin Rose, Charl Schwartzel, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson.
That’s not a bad field for an event that’s supposed to take place Oct. 9-12 — a Tuesday through Friday — just two weeks after the Ryder Cup. The Turkish Airways World Golf Finals event will reportedly be announced during the British Open and offer a $ 5.3 million purse with $ 1.5 for the winner and $ 1 million for second.
Assuming the event goes off without a hitch, tournament officials would sweeten the pot in 2013, offering $ 2.5 million to the winner, which would be the richest first prize in golf.
If you’re wondering why the match play event is running Tuesday through Friday, it’s because tournament officials are trying their best to not overshadow the PGA Tour’s Frys.com Open and the European Tour’s Portuguese Masters.
Neither tour is buying the goodwill. At this point in the season it’s impossible to say if any of the players in the eight-man field would have played that week — Tiger played the Frys.com last year, but he only did it to get an additional tournament rep in before the Presidents Cup — but you can understand why the cash grab event is drawing the ire of the PGA Tour and European Tour.
We’ll have to wait a couple more weeks to see if the The Turkish Airways World Golf Finals becomes a reality. But for the moment, it looks like golf fans will have a reason to carve out some golf watching time in early October.