News & Tours
April 28, 2009

Will they again be 'like a bag of prawns on a hot Sunday'?

Associated Press golf writer Doug Ferguson raises an interesting question regarding the HSBC Champions in Shanghai, China, having been elevated to a World Golf Championship event: If you take a World Golf Championship out of America, will the Americans go?

"Even when these WGCs were part of the PGA Tour schedule and counted as an official victory with official money, there was no guarantee the Americans would leave home," Ferguson writes. "A dozen of them, including five of the top 10 in the world ranking, skipped out on the American Express Championship at Valderrama in 2000.

"That prompted this famous line from Stuart Appleby: 'They're like a bag of prawns on a hot Sunday. They don't travel well.'"

This time it could be different. Tiger Woods already is committed and presumably Phil Mickelson will commit, too, given that the Barclays Singapore Open will be played the week before and Mickelson typically plays there (for an appearance fee). The HSBC Champions, moreover, is an IMG event, and IMG surely would have some influence over the players it represents who qualify. Anthony Kim and Steve Stricker are IMG clients, so if they've qualified presumably they would play.

The tournament also is sandwiched by a pair of Asian tournaments that offer appearance fees, the Singapore Open and the Hong Kong Open, as Ferguson notes, which might entice others to make the November journey.

There is another reason, too, represented here by Sean O'Hair, though not everyone is likely to buy into it. "It's a chance to compete against the best players in the world," O'Hair tells Ferguson. "I'll go."

-- John Strege