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The PGA Tour appears to be weathering the recession better than almost anyone else. That shouldn’t imply, however, that it isn’t affected by it, which in this instance is actually a good thing. Many times the Tour is evaluated by its financial performance both in terms of size of its purses as well as its charitable contributions. However, the economic impact being felt due to the economy is somewhat of an intangible at this point. “Well, to be very honest, we've been lucky as players,” said Camilo Villegas. “We will feel the hard times in the economy, I'm sure, but so far we're just trying to focus on just providing good service and keep doing all the charity work we're doing and providing a good show for the customers and the fans out there. Hopefully we can continue to do that.”
Villegas was speaking at the BMW Media day as defending champion and he said the Tour reminds the players of the real world going on outside the ropes and that their assistance is needed with the corporate sponsors who help to pay for the bar tab, if you will, at the end of the day. “They (the Tour) constantly keep reminding us how important the sponsors are, how important the fans are, and the tough times that the economy is in. Both the players and the Tour, we're trying to work in conjunction to provide good service, to make it exciting, and just to -- at the end of the day, they can look back at us, the players and the PGA Tour and say, you know what, we (sponsors) want to invest with them. We want to be with them because they represent the good stuff; they represent something positive for the community, and not only for the community but for all the businesses and all the sponsors that are behind us,” the 27 year old explained. So while the recession hasn’t necessarily shown up on the balance sheet for the Tour, its impact has been felt in other ways and for a change that is a positive sign.
Sidenote: BMW has added an interesting twist if any pro records an ace in the tournament. Rather than give away one of its luxury vehicles its decided to try something different. “If there is a hole-in-one scored at the BMW Championship by any of the professionals, what we will do is award a scholarship in the name of that professional to another candidate. I think that's a good innovation, that's supported by the players and by the Western Golf Association and the PGA Tour,” said Jim O'Donnell, who's the president of BMW of North America.