Official butts in on star-studded Turkish golf event

Tiger Woods of the U.S. tees off on the 8th hole during his World Golf Final Group 1 match against...

Tiger Woods of the U.S. tees off on the 8th hole during his World Golf Final Group 1 match against Matt Kuchar of the U.S. in Antalya, southern Turkey, October 10, 2012. (REUTERS)

TIM MCKAY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:24 AM ET

It's hard to imagine that a golf exhibition featuring Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in Turkey could be overshadowed by the event's organizer, but a high-profile head-butt accomplished just that this week.

In what was supposed to be a celebration of Turkish golf and a showcase for the 2020 Olympic Games, with a new European Tour event scheduled for the country next season, the man who organized the $5-million exhibition became the story when he took security into his own hands Tuesday.

A photographer reportedly overstepped his bounds, both literally and figuratively, with Tiger Woods on the tee Tuesday on the first day of the eight-man Turkish Airlines World Golf Final, and the president of the Turkish Golf Federation, Ahmet Agaoglu, allegedly stepped in and head-butted photojournalist Cihat Unal.

On Wednesday, Agaoglu gave a bizarre apology allegedly in the face of an impending lawsuit.

"Some of the cameramen and photographers were in front of Tiger's line and they had been warned several times by the course marshals," Agaoglu said at a news conference.

"They didn't leave their places and naturally the security people pushed them. Probably they didn't like it and they started shouting to the security guys. I was there explaining this is not like other sports -- while (soccer star Lionel) Messi is going to take a penalty you cannot go into the six-yard area to take a picture -- and while saying this there was a reaction saying 'You cannot push us back, you cannot shout at us.'

"I was being pushed by one of them and pushed them back as well, the poor sod was in the wrong place in the wrong time."

Agaoglu, who said he was just trying to make "everything perfect," said he would apologize to the photographer.

"It was unlucky it happened and I will given a written apology because one way or another it was not nice."

Before the incident, no one outside of Turkey would have known the name of its golf federation's president and that's the way it should have remained, especially considering the money being thrown around -- the winner of this non-sanctioned event gets $1.5 million and the minimum for showing up is $300,000. The new European Tour event next November will have a $7-million purse.

The photographer may walk away with a nice payday, too.

The Woods-McIlroy match was pushed back to Thursday because of rain Wednesday, which likely will allow the head-butt scandal to die down a bit.

WOODS MAY GIVE EURO A WHIRL

Woods also made news Wednesday in Turkey, saying he would consider joining the European Tour.

But before you get too excited, it doesn't mean he's likely to skip any important events on the PGA Tour in favour of playing overseas.

The European Tour is set to change its criteria, adding more events that count toward the 13 needed to be considered a member, namely the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup.

Considering all four majors and all four World Golf Championships already count as European Tour-sanctioned events, and adding the Ryder or Presidents Cup, playing in those would put Woods at nine events in a season.

Woods has shown that early in the year and later in the year, when the events on the PGA Tour are less meaningful, he's not averse to playing European Tour events that offer him large appearance fees -- in January in Abu Dhabi, where he was paid a reported $1.5 million to show up.

As for the inaugural Turkish Open to be played next November, agent and promoter Chubby Chandler reportedly said Woods is "available at the moment."

COLSAERTS EYES PGA TOUR

Speaking of tour swapping, Nicolas Colsaerts is hoping to make the most of his Ryder Cup coming-out party by parlaying it into status on the PGA Tour.

The 29-year-old Belgian was one of the least-known players on the European team at Medinah, but he turned a lot of heads with his 62 in Friday four-balls, almost single-handedly beating a resurgent Woods and Steve Stricker.

Immediately after the Ryder Cup, Colsaerts took up special temporary membership for the rest of the PGA Tour season, allowing him to take unlimited sponsor exemptions. He's playing at this week's Frys.com Open.

Colsaerts has $494,386 in earnings through co-sanctioned events and he needs to earn about $100,000 more to match 125th spot on the PGA Tour money list to secure full playing privileges for 2012.

"It would be stupid not to consider it," Colsaerts told PGATour.com. "When you get a chance to play this tour with all these players, the courses you play on, and such a big stage ... once you get a taste of what the possibilities here are, it gets you pretty excited."

YIP BOUND FOR Q-SCHOOL

Canuck Ryan Yip couldn't match his first-round success last week at the CJ Invitational in South Korea but managed a good result nonetheless.

The 27-year-old from Calgary, who played this season on the Web.com Tour, shot a sizzling opening round of 64 to hold the lead after the first day. Yip shot 71-70-72 to finish tied for ninth, eight shots back of winner and tournament host K.J. Choi, good enough for $15,637.50 in prize money.

Yip was playing on a sponsors exemption. He is slated to compete in the first stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School, Oct. 16-19 at Dayton Valley Golf Club in Dayton, Nev. He missed earning his PGA Tour card by one stroke last year.

ON THE TEE

PGA Tour

Frys.com Open

CordeValle Golf Club (7,368 yards, par 71), San Martin, Calif.

--Large contingent of Canadians looking to make something happen includes Mike Weir, Matt Hill, Matt McQuillan, David Hearn and Stephen Ames

LPGA Tour

LPGA MALAYSIA

Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

--First of four events in Asia


Videos

Photos