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January 06, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Roll Tide! If 'Bama beats LSU, free golf for Tide fans

When state and city leaders place a friendly wager on their hometown teams, the stakes are usually small potatoes. (Or apples, as was the case when New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg collected a bushel of Honeycrsisps and a case of beer from Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak after the Yankees beat the Twins in the 2009 ALDS.) In the run-up to Monday’s BCS Championship game, however, Louisiana Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne has upped the ante. Should Alabama knock off LSU, Dardenne’s office will cough up a big-time prize to the Crimson Tide's links-loving faithful: 200 rounds of golf on Lousiana’s Audubon Golf Trail.

 

One hundred winners will be selected at random from the entries to win a round of golf, including cart fees, for two players. Contest begins Jan. 1, 2012 and ends at midnight, Jan. 31, 2012. ’Bama residents can enter here.

Portrush to host Irish Open. Is British Open next?
Northern Ireland’s famed Portrush has landed the 2012 Irish Open, which might be the first step toward the beloved links landing an even bigger Open, reports Philip Reid of the Irish Times.

In returning to the cliff top links on the Causeway coast, the Irish Open—albeit a tournament still without a title sponsor and to be bankrolled by tourism bodies North and South and by the European Tour itself—is set to fulfill a further role in setting out Portrush’s case to return to the rota as a British Open venue.

The earliest that can possibly happen is 2016, as Open dates up to St Andrews in 2015 have been determined, but it could require a number of successful stagings of the Irish Open to gain the approval of the RA.

Portrush
The tournament will be conducted from June 28-July 1, with local boys Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell serving as ambassadors.

“Fantastic news on the Irish Open 2012 coming to Royal Portrush,” McDowell tweeted. “Always been a dream of mine to play a top event in my home town.”

Masters badge owners face price hike
One of the most priceless possessions in sports just got more pricey. Masters badges, which provide access to every day of the hallowed tournament, will now cost their lucky owners $250. It is the first increase since 2009, when the price jumped $25 to $200, reports John Boyette of the Augusta Chronicle.

A Masters badge has long been considered one of the toughest tickets in sports. A waiting list for series badges was established in 1972 and closed in 1978 when demand far exceeded the club’s supply.

Ticket prices for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday practice rounds will cost $50 each in 2012, up from $36 for Monday and Tuesday and $41 for Wednesday.

That's a 39 percent price hike, but it's unlikely you'll hear much kvetching. Considering it costs an average of $85 to watch the Yankees and a whopping $260 for a seat at Foxboro, Masters practice rounds tickets remain one of the best bargains in sports.

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