You're right, it's not all about the money, but it does take the edge off knowing there is some money involved. No one expects to get rich, but they do like to pay for gas and food while they throw their life away. And "The 2011 USDGC champion" looks good on a resume for what? If you're doing it just for the title that is also playing disc golf for the wrong reason. Disc golf is just as much a trip to Disneyland as it is a devotion to a church - you want the thrills and the awe that come with each new discovery, but you also expect that your faith will be rewarded in the end.
Obviously this particular title doesn't mean that much if most of the ranking PRO field in disc golf stayed away this year. If they continue with this format, this tournament will suffer. Are you going to watch the internet coverage? Are you interested in watching a 900 rated player shot a 94 on Winthrop Gold? Do you think sponsors want to sink money into an event like that?
To be fair, I am going to watch it. I have friends in the tournament and I want to see them do their best. And they aren't there for the money or to pad their resume - they just want to play the course.