Category: Australian Masters

November 19, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Tiger 'minimal' help to Aussie golf, Thompson says

Posted at 12:20 PM by Mark Dee

Tigerwoods_aussie2009Tiger Woods's trips down under aren't worth the sticker price, according to one Aussie legend.

Despite shelling out millions of taxpayer dollars to bring Woods to Australia over the past three years, the country's golf tour has little to show for it, said Peter Thompson, the five-time British Open champion. Thompson said Woods has done nothing to raise the profile of the Australian tour, according to a Reuters report.

"I think Tiger Woods's impact was minimal barring the few days he was here," the 83-year-old said. "It cost heavily and it changed nothing, fundamentally.

"The tour still struggles to attract top players because we can't afford the appearance fees."

Woods played in the 2009 and 2010 Australian Masters and the 2011 Australian Open, and received appearance fees from tournament organizers, which at least one time were subsidized by the government.

Local media reported that Victoria's state government shelled out A$1.5 million ($1.55 million)—or 50 percent of Woods's appearance fee—to attract the 14-times major champion to Melbourne for the Australian Masters in 2009.

With the PGA and European Tours expanding into Asia, the Australian Tour has been largely left behind. And Tiger's presence on the continent has done little to help sustain growth. According to Reuters, last week's Australian Masters saw only "modest" crowds, even though local favorite Adam Scott took the crown.

So what future does Thompson see for Australian golf? Buy in with Asia, and keep his countrymen playing:

"In the long-term there's only going to be three tours, the US, European and one Asian tour," Thomson said.

"The rise of Asia is potentially very lucrative for Australia, because China is very keen on international exposure.

"Of course, they will have a huge number of talented young golfers coming through and we need to encourage them to nurture their careers down here."

[Photo: Tiger Woods at the 2009 Australian Masters. Getty Images]
November 13, 2010

Final Round at the Australian Masters

Posted at 9:08 PM by

Nov13_woods_600x396  Tiger Woods is in action this week at the Australian Masters, where he is the defending champion. It was the last title Woods won before news of his extramarital affairs became public. Camilo Villegas, Geoff Ogilvy and Sergio Garcia are also in the field at Victoria Golf Club, which replaced Kingston Health as the site of event.  


(Photo: Lucas Dawson/Getty Images)

November 12, 2010

Round 3 at the Australian Masters

Posted at 8:20 PM by

Nov12_tiger_600x389 Tiger Woods is in action this week at the Australian Masters, where he is the defending champion. It was the last title Woods won before news of his extramarital affairs became public. Camilo Villegas, Geoff Ogilvy and Sergio Garcia are also in the field at Victoria Golf Club, which replaced Kingston Health as the site of event.  


(Photo: William West/AFP/Getty Images)

November 11, 2010

Round 2 at the Australian Masters

Posted at 3:22 PM by

P1-tiger-chip-th_298x305 Tiger Woods is in action this week at the Australian Masters, where he is the defending champion. It was the last title Woods won before news of his extramarital affairs became public. Camilo Villegas, Geoff Ogilvy and Sergio Garcia are also in the field at Victoria Golf Club, which replaced Kingston Health as the site of event. GOLF Magazine senior writer Cameron Morfit previews the tournament here.


(Photo: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

November 10, 2010

Round 1 at the Australian Masters

Posted at 4:01 PM by

P1-tiger-aussie_298x217 Tiger Woods is in action this week at the Australian Masters, where he is the defending champion. It was the last title Woods won before news of his extramarital affairs became public. Camilo Villegas, Geoff Ogilvy and Sergio Garcia are also in the field at Victoria Golf Club, which replaced Kingston Health as the site of event. GOLF Magazine senior writer Cameron Morfit previews the tournament here.


(Photo: Robert Cianflone)

after the event was played at Kingston Heath

Read more:,28136,2030454,00.html#ixzz14uqs6eye
November 09, 2010

Truth & Rumors: Aussie politicians criticize Tiger's appearance fee

Posted at 12:38 PM by Mike Walker

Nov9-tiger-woods-aus_299x405 What's the problem with the Australian government paying part of Tiger Woods's appearance fee? It doesn’t look good.

That’s the argument made by Australian opposition party politicians who oppose the government footing half of the $3 million Woods is being paid to play at the Australian Masters in Melbourne this week, according to The Australian newspaper.

"Victorian families are desperately short of hospital beds, police and trains, and taxpayers' money should be spent on these urgent needs rather than appearance fees for golfers," said Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu's spokesman.

Greens candidate Greg Barbour agreed, saying the fallen star wasn't worth it and "just about anything would be a better use of the funds."

However, officials counter that the government made a $34.3 million return on its investment last year through increased tourism.

Victoria Tourism Industry Council chief executive Todd Black said those who objected to paying Woods from the public purse should enter "the real world."

"You sometimes have to spend money to make money," Mr. Black said. "When Tiger came to Melbourne last time, he attracted 35,000 high-spending overseas and interstate visitors.”

(Photo: Tiger Woods arriving in Australia on Tuesday; Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

November 08, 2010

Truth & Rumors: Anthony Kim disputes wild night in Vegas

Posted at 11:59 AM by Mike Walker

Anthony Kim finished T25 at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai in his first appearance since his controversial withdrawal from the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open after reports of a wild night in Las Vegas. He told the Golf Channel's Andrew Both that his surgically repaired thumb is feeling better.

“This is the first week I’ve hit it well since I’ve been back,” Kim told after a 2-under-par 70 left him 13 strokes from the third-round lead at Sheshan on Saturday. “I’m starting to hit my driver as far as I used to, so I’m looking forward to future success. “I have another month of rehab to go but the doctor says I’m looking good. I feel I’m about 85-90 percent there.”

Kim also disputed reports that had him yelling at craps tables and spraying the dance floor with high-priced champagne at a nightclub during the week of the Tour's Las Vegas stop.

“I didn’t even feel like I needed to defend myself, they were so outrageous,” Kim said of the reports. “I can’t do anything about it now and they’re going to say what they want to say.”

Francesco Molinari says facing Tiger was good preparation for HSBC win

Francesco Molinari won the HSBC Champions in Shanghai by going head-to-head with World No. 1 Lee Westwood. Afterward Molinari said that playing former No. 1 Tiger Woods in singles at the Ryder Cup helped prepare him for facing down Westwood. (Woods beat Molinari 4 & 3).

It's been four fantastic days, and especially the last two playing head-to-head with Lee was really tough.

I think the experience of playing with Tiger in The Ryder Cup definitely helped me in the last couple of days, because when -- obviously they are different players, but when you are playing against the No. 1 in the world, it is not easy to always stick to the game plan and do your own game.

Sergio Garcia says he's re-energized after soccer sabbatical

He’s looking to reclaim his place in the game at the Australian Masters after a difficult 2010. Yup, Sergio Garcia has his work cut out for him. However, Garcia told the Australian media that his soccer-playing sabbatical this fall helped him regain his passion and energy for golf, according to The Australian Age newspaper.

''It was something that I needed to do, mainly because I'd just been playing so much, not only as a professional but before as an amateur, too,'' the 30-year-old said. ''I just felt like I needed a little bit of recharging the batteries.''

He feels like the experience has been positive. ''I've definitely thought about a lot of things, learned a lot about myself,'' he said. ''I always enjoy life away from golf. I love life with golf, but I think one of the reasons why I love golf is because I have so many things going on in my life outside of golf, and those things help me get back to golf stronger. I feel fortunate in that way. I have really enjoyed those two months.''

Garcia also made some headlines Down Under for pointing out the obvious, that Tiger Woods does not have the same aura he brought to this tournament last year.

''Maybe not as much,'' Garcia said yesterday, when asked if defending champion Tiger Woods was as fearsome a foe as he was a year ago, when No. 1 ranking and reputation were both intact.

Perhaps pointedly, Garcia dodged an invitation to anoint Woods as ''the man to beat'' this week, saying only ''he's one of them."

Allenby paired with Tiger at Aussie Masters instead of amateur

Australian golfer Robert Allenby thought it would be great if Tiger Woods was paired with the top Australian amateur at the Australian Masters in Melbourne this week, but instead Allenby got the Tiger draw, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

[Allenby said] at last week's WGC event in Shanghai that it would be a waste to give the opportunity to seasoned players like him who play with Woods quite often on the US PGA Tour.

"It would be an awesome thing for the No.1 amateur," Allenby said. "For Australian golf, that's what they need to do."

But the organizers -- IMG and PGA Tour of Australasia -- on Monday announced Allenby and experienced West Australian pro Brett Rumford would play with Woods in the opening two rounds at the Victoria course on Thursday and Friday.

Scottish pro thanks girlfriend for supporting him

In pro sports, the guys at the top are celebrated so much that it’s easy to forget about the hundreds of players in that next tier just struggling to get into the next tournament. Which is why it was nice to hear Scottish golfer Richie Ramsey thank his girlfriend after his third-place finish at the HSBC Champions got him into the Euro Tour’s Dubai World Championship later this month, according to The Scotsman.

The Scot sealed his place in the 60-man field after finishing third behind Italian Francesco Molinari and world No 1 Lee Westwood in the HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

He's delighted his hard work in recent weeks has paid off in securing his top target for the year and says the support of his American girlfriend, Angela Hudinski, has been invaluable.

"She has two jobs and works really hard but still finds the time to support my golf," said Ramsay after picking up a £232,000 prize. "Hopefully she'll be able to come to Dubai as a little treat and a thank-you for all of the support she's given me."

Stray Shots: Stuff we saw while wondering if John Daly is going to sue the creators of the HBO series Eastbound & Down for stealing his life story.

Australian fans who heckle Tiger Woods will be booted from the course after one warning. (Via The Australian Herald Sun)

The family of superagent and IMG founder Mark McCormick donated his archives to UMass-Amherst. The archives include letters to Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. (Via The Boston Globe)

Rickie Fowler committed to play in the season-ending Children's Miracle Network Classic at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. Fowler is just one stroke behind in the $1 million Kodak Challenge, the Bizarro World FedEx Cup, which consists of a player's best cumulative score on 18 of the 30 holes throughout the year. The Kodak hole at Disney’s Magnolia Course is the par-4 No. 17. (Via

November 01, 2010

Truth & Rumors: Aussies lose interest in Tiger Woods

Posted at 12:34 PM by Mike Walker

What a difference a year makes. In November 2009, pre-scandal Tiger Woods got the rock-star treatment at the Australian Masters in Melbourne with sellout crowds eager for a glimpse of Woods in his first Down Under public appearance in 11 years.

Tickets will be a lot easier to find this year when Woods plays the tournament again next week, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Last year, when his win at Kingston Heath capped his first tournament in Australia for 11 years, the 20,000 general admission tickets for each of the event's four days sold out six weeks in advance. This time, they will still be available at the gate at Victoria Golf Club on November 11-14, although at a $5 premium to those pre-sold for $49 through Ticketek.

David Rollo, vice president-director of Golf IMG Australia, whose company runs the Masters, put the weaker demand down to this being Woods's second straight year in Melbourne, rather than the American falling off his pedestal, both in image and golfing terms.

''It was the first time he'd been here in 11 years and, at that time, I guess there were people who thought he may not be here for another chance to see him,'' Rollo said. ''So from that point of view, there was no question last year was a unique set of circumstances."

Then again, maybe those fans just didn’t want to get hit by a flying golf club after one of Woods’s errant shots.

Rules violation costs Monty chance for $1.28 million

Colin Montgomerie has had a tough time of it since leading the Europeans to victory at the Ryder Cup in October. Two weeks ago, he was involved in a frightening car accident, and then on Sunday he lost a chance to win the very profitable ($1.28 million) Mission Hills Star Trophy celebrity pro-am in China. The Golf Channel’s Andrew Both has the details:

The incident occurred when Montgomerie’s drive finished a couple of yards behind an advertising sign in the fairway, which blocked the player’s second shot to the hole. Montgomerie’s caddie, Jason Hempleman, and a marshal pulled the sign out of the ground in breach of a local rule.

“Under the conditions of this competition, which are given to every player, the advertising signs (are) temporary immovable instructions,” tournament director David Parkin said. “You can't move them. Unfortunately for Colin, his caddie has helped in the movement of this board. As soon as he moved that it's a two-stroke penalty under our conditions.”

Montgomerie conferred for several minutes after his round with Parkin before signing his card.

Earlier, Parkin approached Montgomerie on the 18th tee to inform the player of the problem. Montgomerie was clearly livid: “David, please don’t start this,” he said.

“Nobody else has moved them,” Parkin said of the signs.

Lorena Ochoa ended up winning the tournament and taking home the check for $1.28 million.

Martin Kaymer says No. 1 ranking didn't affect play

Lee Westwood is the new world No. 1 this week, but it could have been Martin Kaymer if Kaymer had finished first or second at the Andalucia Masters. Instead, he finished 10 shots back. Afterward Kaymer said the chance to be No. 1 was on his mind, but it didn’t change the way he played, according to

"Of course I'm disappointed, he admitted when questioned afterwards. "I thought if I had a fast weekend I could still play a role, but I missed too many putts.

"You have to accept it when isn't your week. I don't think trying to get to number one played any part.

"It was in the back of my mind, but I didn't play any differently; any more aggressively or defensively. I liked the challenge and I think I'll have another chance in the next few weeks."

Stray Shots: Things we noticed while dreaming about a 2018 Ryder Cup in sunny Portugal... 

Teen phenom Lexi Thompson is asking the LPGA to allow her to become a member so she can play more than six tournaments in 2011. Thompson turns 16 in February, and the LPGA’s age minimum is 18. (Via The Palm Beach Post)

You can’t bid online anymore for the chance to play Pebble Beach with Michelle Wie, but the round will still be offered at a live auction on Nov. 18 to benefit the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation. The last bid accepted online was $3,250. (Via Emily Kay at Golf Examiner)

The Truth & Rumors Best Halloween Costume award goes to Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, who showed up at teammate Paul Pierce’s house dressed as Tiger Woods. (Pierce is the frog and Kevin Garnett is in orange. UPDATE: Also, Jermaine O'Neil is Mr. T, Glen "Big Baby" Davis is in the pajamas, and the guy in the V for Vendetta mask is Delonte West.)


Should be fun when the Celtics visit the Orlando Magic and superfan Tiger Woods on Christmas day.

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