On Wednesday, Tiger Woods announced that he was withdrawing his name from Ryder Cup consideration, and would be forgoing any professional events for the next few months while he rehabilitates after back surgery.
Considering Woods' recent performances in tournaments — two missed cuts, one withdrawal, and a 69th-place finish — it's not surprising that Woods would take the rest of the year to get his game back together. But considering how much money he's leaving on the table, you can understand why he'd have a hard time walking away.
Outside of the PGA season, Woods appears in several tournaments and corporate outings a year in which he's paid an appearance fee. These are hefty indeed, and according to one estimate, Woods is passing up a staggering $8 million in potential appearance fees by sitting out. Appearance fees, as the name implies, are payable just for showing up; there's no need for Woods to do anything but smile and swing in order to cash the check. (Not that Woods is in particularly dire financial straits, as far as we know, but for reference, he's made about $100,000 in winnings this season.)
Woods was scheduled to play in the America’s Golf Cup in Argentina, for which he would have received about $4 million, and at least two corporate events in Asia, for which he generally receives about $2 million per appearance.
Obviously, for Woods, money isn't the issue; getting healthy for majors is. If he's able to prep sufficiently to make a run at the newly dominant Rory McIlroy at Augusta next year, for him, the layoff would be worth the cost.
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