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January 26, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Tiger Woods ignores Ian Poulter on Twitter

Tiger Woods took to Twitter yesterday to answer questions from his followers (he likes Tupac over Biggie, and he's pulling for the Steelers in the Super Bowl), but when Ian Poulter tried to get Woods to join the playful Twitter banter with Lee Westwood, Poulter's tweets went unanswered.

"@TigerWoods why don't you follow the Lads @WestwoodLee etc & join the banter. We could have a good laugh & let people join in our fun," Poulter tweeted.

Poulter then tweeted fellow Englishman Lee Westwood, the world number one: "@TigerWoods wants some questions. What shall we ask him"

Getting nothing in reply from Woods, Poulter tweeted Westwood: "im not having it that No3 (Woods's world ranking) is writing his own tweets. He doesn't want to play."

That prompted current World No. 1 Westwood to ask a question of his own.

"@TigerWoods is it true you've dyed your hair Ginger, singed a deal with IJP (Poulter) clothing and bought a White Ferrari cos your in awe of poults?" Westwood tweeted.

Again no reply from Woods, who now has 449,698 followers on Twitter.

Poulter finally gave up prompting any reaction from Woods, tweeting: "Just for the record for our friends that dont have a sense of humor we all get on great with tiger, its called having some Banter & Fun."

Familiar Foes
When Tiger Woods gets to the first tee Thursday at Torrey Pines, he'll be greeted by a familiar face: Rocco Mediate. Woods hasn't won a major since his legendary duel at the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines with Rocco. Diane Pucin of The L.A. Times says Mediate is looking forward to seeing his old nemesis again.

"There are a lot of memories from that week for me," Mediate said Tuesday. "And 99.9% are really good ones. The only bad one was the outcome.

"But it's made me better, I think. I had my problems after that. I didn't want it, the U.S. Open at Torrey, to be my last anything. San Jose, last year, middle of October, it's like, 'That's not the end.' It's like, 'Yeah, I lost the U.S. Open but I came back a couple years later and won a golf tournament on the PGA Tour.' That's really cool to me."

Inside the PGA Tour players' meeting
Stephanie Wei talked to two pros who attended a players' meeting Tuesday at Torrey Pines and got them to dish on a few of the highlights:

*AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson took the podium (which a few players said was the most compelling part of the evening, for what it’s worth) and imparted some interesting tidbits. He explained that AT&T sponsors the PGA Tour because it has the best viewer demographic for their business and it’s a high quality product. At the same time, Stephenson sees downside of the Tour as having an inconsistent product, meaning he does not know which players will play his events year-to-year or week-to-week. Like all sponsors, he wants the top guys playing his events more often.

*What does it take to receive an invitation to play in the AT&T National Pebble Beach Pro-Am? At least $50 million. Stephenson said the company’s coveted spots are given to clients that bring in a minimum of $50 million a year of business to AT&T, with the majority generating $100 million. So that’s all it takes to get an invite to the Pebble Beach Pro-Am!

*As you may have heard, the PGA Tour’s television contracts are up for renegotiation this year, with the exception of the Comcast-owned Golf Channel deal that’s locked through 2020. With Comcast acquiring NBC, the Tour will receive a lot of cross-branding and cross-marketing through the NBC networks, which will help with contract discussions. (CNBC meets golf’s target audience — white collar, upper middle class to upper class clientele.) All the FedEx Cup and PGA Tour spots aired on the Golf Channel will run on the NBC affiliates and give ratings a boost. Sunday’s final round at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Kapalua enjoyed a 38% increase in TV viewership, which may serve as an example of the trickle-down effect that Finchem mentioned.

Vijay's Free Fallin'
Golfweek's Jim McCabe breaks down some surprising numbers in the latest golf rankings. The most surprising stat? Former World No. 1 Vijay Singh has tumbled all the way down to No. 105.

The Big Fijian moving out of the top 100? That’s like Wayne Newton leaving Las Vegas. Or Mister Rogers the neighborhood.

But it’s true. The man who played majestic golf in 2004 to wrestle the top spot from Woods, and who sat as high as No. 5 just two years ago today, Singh was 98th a week ago but is squeezed between chaps named Gregory Bourdy (104th) and Gareth Maybin (106th).

Not exactly rubbing elbows with the Who’s Who crowd, is it?

OK, so he’s fast approaching his 48th birthday (Feb. 22, in case you want to send a card, or a gift). But isn’t Singh the guy who wasn’t going to stop winning or even slow down a little? Wasn’t he the coverboy for all those over the age of 40 who insisted they could still run with the young pups?

Yes and yes.

But he’s also proof that a steady stretch of indifferent play will drag even Hall of Famers down the world rankings.

Tweet of the Day

Azinger @PaulAzinger: I've seen more of Hank Haney's wife in a bikini in the last 2 Rush episodes than my wife in 29 years! And that's a fact!

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