PGA of Australia Doesn’t Schedule Tournaments and Presidents Cup to Accommodate Tiger Woods
By Stephanie Wei under Presidents Cup

The PGA of Australia announced on Sunday that the Australian Open, likely to be held at a Sydney-area course, will take place November 10-13, 2011, the week before the Presidents Cup, where the Americans will battle against the Internationals at Royal Melbourne.

The Australian PGA at Coolum will be played Nov. 24-27, a week after the team matches. Which means the Australian Masters, an event Tiger has received $3 million appearance fee to compete in, will probably conflict with Tiger’s own charity tournament in California.

Woods had said he’d prefer to play the Masters, which is to be held at Kingston Health, another sandbelt course near Royal Melbourne. The proximity and similar styles of the venues would have been the ideal way for Presidents Cup team members to prepare for the matches.

IMG, which runs the Masters and manages Tiger, hoped to secure the prime slot, the week before the Presidents Cup to boost its field. Instead, that privilege will go to the Australian Open in Sydney. It’s better this way — the players and their families will get to see more of the country! Via the AP:

“We would like this date. It’s critical to us,” Mark Steinberg, head of IMG’s global golf division, said in November during the Masters.

“We feel like we took on the risk by moving to this date a few years ago, going up against some big events, and we made it successful. We feel we deserve to keep the date, now that it’s a coveted date for next year.”

Woods received a $3 million appearance fee – half of that paid by the Victorian state government – but in his first year, a government study showed the economic return was more than $30 million.

Uh oh, if the schedule stands as it does now, Tiger will have to do without an extra $3 million for coming to Australia. He might have to play the Australian Open — gasp — without an appearance fee! The horror!