Category: Peter Thompson

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]
October 19, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Arnold Palmer spikes his famous drink

Posted at 1:46 PM by Mike Walker

ArnoldpalmerThe Arnold Palmer drink (half-lemonade, half-iced tea) has become almost as popular as its namesake. In its 10 years of being brewed by the AriZona Beverage Company, the Arnold Palmer Light Half and Half has reportedly reached $100 million in sales.

Now Palmer is releasing Arnold Palmer Hard, an alcoholic version of the drink, according to PR Newswire.

The unique combination of half tea and half lemonade was made famous by legendary golfer Arnold Palmer. His namesake beverage is now available in a "spiked" version - Arnold Palmer Hard.

Arnold Palmer Hard is a malt beverage, produced by the Mississippi Brewing Company and distributed by Hornell Brewing Company - parent company of AriZona Beverages. It is made with AriZona brand iced tea and lemonade, and contains five percent alcohol by volume. Launching in 24 oz. cans from Rexam, this refreshing, non-carbonated beverage has 110 calories per 8 oz. serving.

Olazabal expects Sergio Garcia on Ryder Cup team in 2012

The strangest sight of the dramatic, rain-drenched 2010 Ryder Cup that didn’t involve Lisa Pavin’s team wardrobe choices had to be Sergio Garcia carting around the Celtic Manor course as an assistant captain instead of a player. Don’t expect to see Garcia in that role at Medinah in 2012. Team Europe Captain Jose Maria Olazabal said he has no doubt the resurgent Garcia will be playing for the team next year, according to Sky Sports.

"I am sure Sergio will be in the Ryder Cup, he's got a special charisma and a solid game," said Olazabal. "His best motivation is to know what it feels like to be in the Ryder Cup without playing."

Protesters occupy Rep. John Boehner’s golf game

There is no Wall Street to occupy in Orange County, Calif., so left-wing protesters settled for Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s visit to the Pelican Hill Golf Club in Newport Beach, according to Joseph Serna of The Daily Pilot newspaper.

A weekend of worldwide protest spilled over into Orange County on Monday morning as about 40 left-leaning activists protested House Speaker John Boehner's visit to the Pelican Hill Golf Club.

"He knows he can't go anywhere without the people going with him," said Rick Jacobs, founder of the Courage Campaign, a progressive group. "I hope that even while he's up there, raking in millions in cash, he knows there's people here and everywhere.

"We're going to make clear that this isn't a funny time anymore. This is a real time. It's time for him to get busy on jobs and not on his golf game."

Dave Stockton talks about Phil Mickelson’s putting

Tod Leonard of The San Diego Union-Tribune files an entertaining interview with Dave Stockton, whose putting tips helped Phil Mickelson win the 2010 Masters. Some highlights:

Q: I’ve heard around town lately that Phil’s been playing well with a short putter again. Do you think going to the belly putter was a mistake?

A: “Not really. Phil can putt with anything. I think you could give him a shovel and he could putt. I’m hoping on my short Christmas list that we have some time to work together this year.”

Q: At Rory McIlroy’s request, you worked with him before the U.S. Open, and then he wins on the same course, Congressional, where you won the 1976 PGA Championship. How great was that?

A: “Holy cow, that was so cool! Rory’s caddie (J.P. Fitzgerald) introduced us at Charlotte. We talked for 15 to 20 minutes and I told him what I thought he did at the Masters. I thought he had a very bad pairing (on Sunday, when he shot 80) with (Angel) Cabrera. Cabrera plays at the same pace as Rory; they hit their shots fast. And then they stand there and wait 10 minutes. It’s all rush and stop, rush and stop; there’s nothing consistent going on.

“So then we went out on the putting green and it did not take him more than 10 minutes to figure out what I was talking about.”

Peter Thomson says Tiger was wrong choice for Presidents Cup team

Add Australian golfing legend Peter Thomson to the list of people who think Fred Couples made a mistake picking the struggling Tiger Woods for the U.S. Presidents Cup team. Thomson, who won five British Opens, said that Couples overlooked “better accomplished” players in favor of Woods, according to Robert Grant of the Sydney Morning Herald.

"It's a pretty wild guess, I think, on Couples' part, that he's going to suddenly play well and win points.

"Couples says that once you're a champion you're always a champion. He's working on that theory I think."

Thomson says he is also puzzled why several big-name American team members would opt to play in the Australian Open at The Lakes in Sydney the preceding week.

"I would have thought they would be better off down here in Melbourne," he said. "I don't think playing at The Lakes is going to help them at all."

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