Eight Questions with…US Open Winner Graeme McDowell
Ireland’s Graeme McDowell broke a 40-year European drought by winning the US Openon Sunday.
I sat down with him to talk about the business side of golf.
Darren: With your US Open win, your career earnings are now $11,978,971. How much of that have you really earned after taxes and paying your caddie and agent as well as the travel?
McDowell: Definitely less than half of that. I have a big team of people I have to pay off.
Darren: I have to say that on Sunday I went to your Web siteand I was very impressed. I also noticed that when you won, it had crashed. Any idea as to how many hits you got?
McDowell: I know we did double the amount on that day that we do the entire year.
Darren: Wow. That’s amazing. One sponsorship evaluation company said that you provided Callaway with $21 million worth of media exposure on Sunday alone.
McDowell: I hope that’s what the invoice says.
Darren: You mentioned in your victory speech that you were going to have a Guinness, yet you have a sponsorship deal with Ballantine’s whiskey. Did the people at Ballantine’s feel slighted?
McDowell: No. They understand I’m Irish and I drink Guinness. But they also know I start with Guinness, but I reserve my Ballantine’s for later in the evening.
Darren: Fair enough. We’ll take that. You have a lot of sponsorship deals — six logos on your body already. Do you have any space to sell?
McDowell: Oh, I’ll make some real estate available for the right price.
Darren: Speaking of sponsors, what sponsor has already given you something you didn’t have on Sunday?
McDowell: Well, the folks at Marquis Jet are definitely taking care of me. They had a jet on standby to fly me to Los Angeles. I was supposed to go to Orlando, but things obviously changed.
McDowell: Karma has an interesting way of playing out. Lot of drama there for sure. I obviously haven’t watched as much World Cup as would have liked. I have some friends on England, so looking forward to watching their next game.
Darren: You’re also sponsored by the Al Naboodah Group, an investment company that has real estate in Dubai. You going to get a place over there now?
McDowell: We’re working on that.
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