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November 17, 2010

Truth & Rumors: Tiger's attitude change leads to better results

Posted at 11:21 AM by Ryan Reiterman | Categories: Annika Sorenstam, Tiger Woods

Could we be witnessing the birth of a new Tiger Woods? Robert Lusetich at foxsports.com hopes Tiger's recent display of comedy at a dinner in Melbourne is a sign of a more likeable character emerging from the often stoic figure we've been used to.

Eddie McGuire, a man-about-town in Melbourne, wrote in his column in The Herald Sun that “we learnt more about the real Tiger Woods (that night) than we had seen in years and the audience loved it.”

“What we found was that having a laugh at your own expense can be the best way to move on from situations and get on with your life.”

Sage advice. Not surprisingly, Mark Steinberg, the never-smiling agent for Woods and IMG’s head of golf, wasn’t amused by the tone of the session. And he’s part of the problem in the sense that his job is to monetize Tiger Woods, the brand.

But what about the human being?

At least one source within the Woods camp told me the pressure to be “Tiger Woods” took a heavy toll. So why not wish that cardboard cutout good riddance and move on with life?

It would be nice to see Woods let his guard down a little, but there's no way he will do a complete 180 and be next in line to host Saturday Night Live. Woods has won too many tournaments, and too much money, to start changing his persona now.

Golf Killed the Radio Stars?
Howard Stern may not be the only franchise leaving Sirius/XM. Steve Elling reports the PGA Tour's radio network might be off air after this season.

According to a source, the PGA Tour has been paid $4 million annually for the radio rights fees, and the celestial broadcaster isn't going to re-up. Moreover, it doesn't want to pay the salaries and travel costs for the folks who handle the live tournament broadcasts, either. Consequently, last week at Disney, the tour's radio crew had no idea whether they'll be back in 2011, and if so, in what form or fashion. Pardon the pun, but stay tuned.

I agree with Elling that the talk shows would be missed, but it's really no surprise that Sirius/XM wouldn't miss broadcasting PGA Tour events, especially for $4 million. Despite the best efforts of the broadcast crew, golf just doesn't translate to radio.

Annika's Empire
Lorena Ochoa returned to competition last week for the first time since announcing she was leaving the game to start a family. Don't expect to see the return of that other recently-retired former No. 1 player. USA Today's Steve DiMeglio caught up with Annika Sorenstam, who still isn't saying she is retired, but she's not hinting at a comeback either.

With 15 full-time staff members and a 3,000-square-foot office outside the gates of Lake Nona Country Club, Sorenstam is working at least 60-hour weeks on a collection of business interests that includes her charitable foundation (nearly $600,000 in grants have been committed to numerous organizations), golf course design (eight courses are under contract or finished and two others are on hold), wine (her 2006 Syrah and 2008 Chardonnay have been released), a clothing line, perfume, headwear, a cookbook, a boutique, and a golf academy modeled after the programs that led her to eight years as the No. 1 player in the world.

Obviously, a couch potato she is not.

Sorenstam also says she is interested in hosting her own LPGA Tour event. With the LPGA struggling to secure sponsors and events in the U.S., Annika, who still has multiple endorsements deals, is a no-brainer to host her own event. Who knows, maybe she'll take a cue from Lorena and dust the clubs off once a year.

Can We Go Off the Back Nine?
The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal found a stunning picture of a golf course in Indonesia that was partly destroyed by the recent eruptions from a volcano.

Indonesia

 

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