No. A lot of times its employees of varying levels of sponsors. My dad played in the Western Open Pro-Am several times because Amstel or Heineken was a major sponsor and, while he's a generic white guy, I wouldn't put him in the (very) rich category. Of course, it depends on the tournament but not every participant is some special person.
Re: Pro-Ams, apparently there is a change coming to the format that should make some pros very happy. Rather than requiring the biggest names in the field to play 18 holes, several tournaments are going to a 9/9 format, where a different pro will take over the group at the turn. Apparently this is already an established model on the LPGA Tour and works very well.
I am psyched for this weekend and the season ahead. Two really fun events going on with a very strong field also playing the Dubai Desert Classic and some really low scores to start. I am a total Rory fan-boy, so thrilled so see him off to a good start this year and seemingly healthy and eager to regain his stature by playing a ton leading up to Augusta. Meanwhile, Tommy Fleetwood looked awesome last week in Abu Dhabi and I love him to win a major this year and possibly move into the Top 5 conversation. With the emergence of Rahm and so many other good players, we could see some really fun battles and all leading up to a potentially epic Ryder Cup, especially if Tiger gets it going, too.
I missed the Tiger slumping his shoulders and dropping the club after swings thing. The variation where he looks down and away then points wide right is my personal favorite though. Bonus points if muttering "ugh, Tiiiger."
Good leaderboard too. Rahm with the chance for back-to-back and reach #1, Day charging, Phil and others lurking. Finau looking to break through, Palmer off major medical...Torrey always seems to produce one of the best early season tournaments each year.
Another good chip by Tiger on 7 should get him on the right side of the cut.
Tiger looks pretty good today. He's nailing some putts. Still a bit messy off the tee, though, but that's always been an issue for him in recent years. That said, his swing looks tremendous, healthy and strong. He's not favoring anything.
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