U.S. Open

Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2)

The Loop

Greg Norman on giving back

March 03, 2009

Greg Norman recently made news by suggesting that the PGA Tour voluntarily should reduce prize money out of deference to a citizenry caught in a financial pinch. Norman, of course, could take the lead on behalf of the same citizenry by slashing the price of his Greg Norman Estates wines, but I digress.

"Prize money is being scaled back in Europe," he said. "I wouldn't be surprised if prize money's scaled back in the U.S. just out of respect to every citizen and taxpayer over there who's suffering dramatically.

"It seems like on the PGA Tour the players are still playing for a million dollars first every week, like they're recession-proof. I think there's got to be a lot of sensitivity shown.

"If I was PGA commissioner, that's what I would be recommending."

Easy for him to say. It's not his money and and at any rate it's already happening (albeit modestly) and is likely to continue to happen with or without a benevolent gesture from the PGA Tour. Preseason projections by the PGA Tour indicate that for the first time since 1975 prize money will decrease from the previous year. It awarded $279.5 million last year and it has projected $277 million in prize money this year. And with so many sponsors on the ropes, it's likely that sponsorship dollars will continue to diminish into the foreseeable future.

-- John Strege