Notes, quotes and news from the world of golf
May. 14, 1997
IRVING, Texas (AP) _ The sign in front of the Four Seasons TPC Los Colinas said it all: SOLD OUT. Tiger Woods is playing this week in the GTE Byron Nelson Classic and the result was predictable.
More than 350 media credentials were issued to an event that normally gets several dozen requests and a record 150,000 spectator badges were sold for the week, prompting urgent warnings to fans to get to the course early.
Woods' news conference Tuesday afternoon looked more like U.S. Open week than just another tour stop. And Tuesday night, Woods threw out the first pitch at the game between the Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians.
Even Woods' agent, Hughes Norton of International Management Group, was holding court for a media suffering from four weeks of Tiger withdrawal.
Asked if Woods was a factor on the lucrative new TV contract the PGA Tour signed over the weekend, Norton said, ``Look at the ratings. There is no doubt about it.''
Norton said Woods has turned down about 100 endorsement offers since turning pro.
``There is plenty for Tiger in all this stuff,'' the agent said with the kind of smile that comes from a getting a percentage of the hottest athlete in the world.
GRIP IT AND RIP IT: John Daly left alcohol rehab last week and could be back on the tour soon. The question is which clubs he will be playing. Wilson terminated its deal with Daly and Callaway has expressed an interest. Key figures at the company _ including Eli Callaway _ met with Daly and Daly has hit the clubs. But one source close to the situation said it was premature to say it was a done deal.
Daly was described as looking great, having lost about 20 pounds, and was said to be attending regular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, something he did not do when he went through alcohol rehab in 1993.
The 31-year-old Daly is still plenty young enough to turn his professional life around and, as one of the most popular players among fans, would be an intriguing gamble for any equipment company. How many times can a company pick up a guy in his physical prime who has already won a PGA Championship and the British Open?
HEALTHY CHOICE: Bayer Aspirin's Strokes Against Stroke campaign should easily break its goal of raising $100,000 for the American Heart Association. After just two weeks, Team Bayer has raised $76,000 and the quartet of golfers still has three more weeks of competition.
Tom Kite, Nancy Lopez, Tom Weiskopf and Chris DiMarco make up team Bayer and the aspirin maker is donating $1,000 to the American Heart Association for every birdie they make in the month of May. After two weeks, Lopez has 27 birdies, DiMarco 26, Kite 14 and Weiskopf nine for a total of 76.
The four golfers will also be featured on the back panel of more than 5 million boxes of Kellogg's Product 19 and Just Right cereals this summer.
Bayer has donated more than $150,000 to the American Heart Association over the last two years.
GLOBAL GOLF: The third semifinalist for the Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf will be determined next week near London when eight European players meet in two days of match play competition at Buckinghamshire Golf Club.
On May 19, Colin Montgomerie, the top seed, plays Jose Maria Olazabal, Ian Woosnam takes on Sam Torrance, Bernhard Langer faces Darren Clarke and Costantino Rocca goes against Jesper Parnevik. The semifinals and finals will be played on May 20.
Play both days will be televised in the United States on delayed tape by ESPN from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. EDT.
Davis Love III won the U.S. group in April and Hajime Meshiai took the Japan championship in March. They advanced to the finals next January in Scottsdale, Ariz. The fourth semifinalist will be determined in the International group in July. That section includes Greg Norman, Ernie Els and Steve Elkington.
DIVOTS: Top-Flite Tour irons, the most-played irons on the Senior Tour, have also moved up in market share, climbing from 10th two years ago to third. They now trail only Callaway Great Big Bertha and Taylor Made Bubble irons. ... Applications for tickets to the practice rounds at next year's Masters must be received by July 15. To request an application call (706) 667-6700 or write to: Masters Tournament, Practice Rounds, PO Box 2047, Augusta, Ga. 30903-2047. Tickets are $16 for Monday and Tuesday and $21 for Wednesday. ... The UNLV men and the San Jose State women were the No. 1 teams in the Rolex Collegiate Rankings going into the NCAA regional championships. TCU sophomore Alberto Ochoa was the top-ranked male and Arizona sophomore Marisa Baena was the leading female golfer.