Tiger Woods Wins Inaugural PIP

Tiger Woods wins inaugural PIP

The PIP was one of the most controversial additions to the PGA roster during the last year. It’s a different prize to other tournaments and rankings that are offered on the tour. This is because it doesn’t actually have anything to do with golf itself. This makes it totally different to other prize funds that are awarded, as players who haven’t won any competitions over the year could conceivably walk away with the title. 

Tiger Woods grabs the prize

That is exactly what has happened with the first award of the PIP. Standing for Player Impact Program, the award is made to the player who has garnered the most engagement from fans and sponsors. This makes it a tricky prospect for people who have an interest in betting on golf. The reasoning behind this is that predicting who is likely to win the award isn’t that easy.

Because the metrics that are used to decide the winner aren’t clearly laid out, it means the winner can be decided in a number of different ways. It also means that as more modern means of engagement become popular, the reasons for which the award is made may change over time. 

It could even be that some golf myths could lead to the award being given out at some point. For example, Tiger Woods’ reputation has contributed to him winning the award in the inaugural list. He hasn’t played any golf this year, yet has still managed to finish on top and win the big prize. 

It’s an example of how dominant Woods was in the past, combined with the belief that his name value brings in sponsorship revenue. It’s something that has caused controversy within the game. 

Morikawa hits out

Although Collin Morikawa didn’t name Woods specifically, he was unhappy with the result on the day it was announced. As he finished 11 on the list, he didn’t win any of the prize funds. He made it clear he wasn’t happy with this in a tweet after the announcement. It’s this nature of the PIP that will eventually lead to more issues coming to the fore. 

Phil Mickelson was also in for a shock. He had announced, near the end of 2021, that he would be the winner of the award. However, the PGA stated that the PIP rankings are calculated all of the way to the end of the year. Woods managed to overtake him in the rankings and Mickelson ended up finishing in second place. 

After Mickelson’s comments about the Saudi golf league, it’s likely that he won’t finish as high in the rankings next year. His reputation with fans and sponsors is currently lower than it has been in a long time. 

Prize money

The prize that is awarded for finishing in top place is $8m. This is obviously a significant sum of money, especially as players don’t even have to play a round, let alone win a competition. It’s not just the top prize that offers a good payout to players, though – even finishing in 10th place pays out $3m. With that kind of money at stake, it’s no surprise that Morikawa was disappointed to finish outside of the top 10. 

Social media influence

It’s unknown how much of an effect social media has on the rankings. It’s likely that sponsor money has the biggest impact, partly due to the amount of money that is paid out as prizes. However, this could change in the future. With social media having more of an influence on how players engage with fans and how sponsors allocate their money, it could get to the point where social media interactions are given a much higher weighting. 

The main reason for this is that social media allows players to get in touch with fans instantly. They can also interact with them in a way that transcends golf. For example, if a golfer has an entertaining Twitter page, it may attract fans who don’t normally follow golf. This will allow the sport to grow and will bring in more sponsorship money. While there’s no guarantee that this will take place in the future, the opportunity is there. 

It means that if a golfer were able to take advantage of the potential of social media, they could be in the running to win the PIP in the future. Even though they would not have had a direct impact on sponsorship there and then, the way in which they bring in new fans would allow them the opportunity to top the rankings and walk away with the $8m prize.

One Comment

  1. Héctor R Fernández

    With all due respect, but the PIP is the equivalent of a welfare program for underachieving PGA Tour players.

    Phil Mickelson originally won the PIP, and they refused to make it public. Now, because Phil put his foot in his mouth, Monahan decided it was ok to announce a new winner, Tiger Woods.

    I’m not impressed with the way Monahan has run the PGA Tour.

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