Nike rep says 'Tiger Slam' irons on eBay are fakes
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Before getting on a plane this morning and flying from New York to Jacksonville, Fla., for the Players Championship, I bought a Mega Millions ticket. The grand prize is up to $266 million, and if I my numbers hits, I'm going to quite my job (sorry boss) and buy a Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California like the one Ferris Bueller wrecked.
But even if I won all that money, there is no way I would place bid on the Titleist 681 Forged irons currently available on eBay which Tiger Woods supposedly used to win his Tiger Slam in 2000-2001.
The seller, aphotoshop1, says Woods gave him the clubs and that they are still in their original condition. Each club (2-PW, plus a 56 and 60 Vokey Wedge) has a True Temper Dynamic Gold X-100 shaft and Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord grips. He is starting the bidding at $250,000.
Here's why I seriously doubt they are authentic:
1. Tiger Woods has an endorsement relationship with Upper Deck. On Woods' Web site, he Upper Deck logo appears as one of his sponsors, and he is listed as one of the company's official autograph signers. On Upper Deck's Web site you can buy Woods-autographed prints, golf flag and golf shoes. During last season's U.S. Open at Bethpage, Upper Deck sold the Nike Golf shirts worn by Woods during the first four rounds of the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
True, the clubs are not autographed, but why would Tiger Woods risk angering a sponsor and allow a company or person other than Upper Deck—which supported Woods throughout his recent sex scandal—to make money selling his memorabilia?
2. Players save clubs. Many Tour pros like to collect clubs, golf bags and other things they use over the years. Paul Casey recently told me that he's saved every set of irons he's used as a professional and has them in boxes at his home. Other guys have told me they collect putter headcovers.
While I'm sure that Tiger has given friends and associates golf-related gifts and mementos over the years, it's hard to believe that he'd part with THAT set of irons.
I asked an official from Nike if he thought the irons on eBay might be authentic, he laughed out loud. "No way," he said. When asked if he knew where the Titleist irons Woods used in 2000 might be, he said, "No, but I can tell you those aren't them."
Hey, is it possible that the irons for sale on eBay are actually Woods' old clubs? It's possible. I tried to ask Tiger today after his practice round but he walked away from the reporters on the ninth green and walked to the back practice range at TPC Sawgrass after his practice round with Jay Haas and Rod Pampling.
It's also possible that I'll hit the Mega Millions jackpot too.
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