Let’s forget about golf for a moment and the grandiose idea of promoting golf in Mexico by trotting out the world’s best players in Mexico City.
Let’s forget about a game for the rich only in that poverty-stricken country.
Let’s talk today about a country of more than 117 million citizens where 55 million of them live in poverty.
Let’s talk about how 41 million people in Mexico try and get by on $188 a month. Phil Mickelson tips his restaurant waiters more than that. The rich hombres who are members at the Club de Golf Chapultepec spend more than that on their dues.
Let’s talk about a city of two million where disease and poverty run rampant, where air quality is awful thanks to pollution, where tuberculosis is five times what it is in the United States and where Hepatitis A is considered an epidemic in the city.
Let’s talk about that and wonder out loud how Senior Ricardo Salinas is spending $100 million to bring professional golf to a city where the rich live in gated enclaves.
Let’s talk about the 20 million children in this country of Mexico, including adolescents, who live in poverty.
Golf is the last thing this place needs and NBC sure managed to paint a rosy pictures last week, showing the large crowds, the well-to-do folks with their well-dressed children who came out to see Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson.
Meanwhile, on the streets of Mexico City, there is no television, no free passes for the paupers. No, don’t show that stuff.
The proof of disease was the number of golfers and caddies who got sick in a hurry. NBC lead analyst Johnny Miller knew better, he stayed at home.
Henrik Stenson was out the first day. After 11 holes, he was too sick to continue.
Rory McIlroy was clinging to the porcelain Wednesday night.
Bones Mackay struggled, then wobbled and finally had to be carted off the course on Friday but made it back on Saturday.
NBC casually referred to it as a “virus.” No doubt it was some form of food poisoning but that not good for the wonderful pictures they were trying to paint.
If everything was the way they showed it in your living rooms, then no one would be struggling to sneak across the border into the United States. It’s a problem because people want to get away from the disease and the hopelessness.
The PGA Tour is guilty of putting the poverty on the back burner in favor of growing a game. Seriously?
The powers to be at Tour headquarters were puffing their chests how Senior Salinas was committing $100 million to this event.
That can’t sit well with anyone who is of sound mind and has any inkling of the poverty that infests the entire country.
That $100 million could sure help those 15,000 children who live on the streets. You didn’t see them in the well-dressed galleries. For them, they will never hear of golf. All they pray for is a decent meal.
Seriously, how can we get excited about parading 60 of the world’s wealthiest golfers around a city where most don’t know where their next meal is coming from?
Winner and world’s No. 1 Dustin Johnson walked away with a fat check for $1.6 million and put on a nice show for the rich folks. Nearby, plenty are hungry.
The wealthy American golfers left, boarded their private jets and flew back to the land of plenty.
Behind them, they left the mega-wealthy Salinas family soaking up the accolades for the big show they brought to the privileged in Mexico City.
It’s hard for us, Americans in the greatest country on earth to imagine the level of poverty in that country.
Yes, the rich folks got their golf tournament but for the other half, there’s nothing.
And that makes it hard to swallow when the PGA Tour tells us how great it is to put on a show in Mexico City.