Lee Westwood Says the Top Professional Golfers Are Overpaid
People crying and stamping their feet about professional athletes being paid too much money is nothing new. We hear it constantly, usually in regard to baseball players in this country. While it may or may not be true depending on your viewpoint, what we don’t usually hear is the professionals themselves saying it. Lee Westwood, who is currently the earnings leader on the European Tour, gave us a rare moment during an interview with The Independent on Sunday.
“We play for a staggering amount of money, no doubt about it and I’ve always stressed we are very very fortunate,” Westwood said. “I think we are paid too much money – compared to police and teachers and nurses. But then compare it to footballers. I think the only thing you can probably justify it by is that when golfers have a bad day, we don’t get paid anything, but when we have a great day we get paid a lot. It’s part of the pressure involved. There isn’t a wage as such.”
Westwood makes a great point about a golfer’s earnings being performance-based. Personally, I am never one to complain that professional athletes make too much money. The money has to come from somewhere, so a baseball player getting $20 million a season is the result of a free market economy and basic supply and demand. The Red Sox and Yankees can afford more because they have a bigger following and sell out 81 home games per year.
However, the major issue with a sport like baseball is guaranteed contracts. Golfers like Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are still showered with endorsements, but they have to continue to win to keep making money. Someone like Albert Pujols signs a contract worth $245 million and will be paid every penny of it regardless of his performance over the next 10 years. Whether you think professional golfers are overpaid or not, it’s certainly an interesting change of pace to hear it coming from a professional golfer’s mouth.
Golf clap to Devil Ball Golf for passing the story along.