“Hooks and Slices” will bring you our view on whats happening in the golf world.
The Tiger Woods World Circus Tour continues this week in Melbourne, Australia as Woods prepares to play in The JBWere Masters. Anytime Tiger Woods plays in a tournament the excitement factor moves up a notch or two. It is no different down under, especially since it is Tiger’s first appearance there since 1998. The Aussies are rolling out the red carpet, or should we say green carpet, as Woods is being paid $3 million to play. That’s twelve times more than the winner of the tournament will pocket. Say what you will about appearance fees, this one is worth it. This is the first time ever that an Australian golf tournament has been sold out, even the practice rounds have been sold out as the Aussies are going “Tiger Crazy.”
JBWere, an investment company, isn’t afraid to be an active and visible sponsor of golf, unlike many corporations in this economic climate. They are happy to use this as an opportunity to expand their name and profile. Some clients will get to play golf with Tiger and others can pay $600 to have dinner with Woods and Geoff Ogilvy. While other businesses have fled from golf sponsorships, JBWere is sure their investment will be worth every dollar.
The tournament organizers are taking steps to avoid the unfortunate actions of spectators that occurred at last week’s tournament in China. They have banned spectators from bringing cell phones and cameras on the course in hopes of keeping Tiger happy. Woods was distracted by cameras on several occasions last week and the Aussies are determined to prevent that from happening here.
The amount of hype for this tournament is unprecedented in Australia. Tiger’s arrival in his private plane was carried live on television as was his pre-tournament press conference. Thousands of fans watched Woods and Craig Parry play a nine hole practice round. It won’t be easy for those paired with Tiger, but that goes with the territory. Woods was impressed by the amount of hype surrounding his visit. “You don’t normally see this many people at a practice round certainly, maybe at a major championship you might see this many people,” Woods said. “But I was telling the guys today, it’s unbelievable how nice the people are here and how understanding they are about the game of golf.”
Woods was less then pleased with the behavior of the inexperienced Chinese golf fans and is happy to be playing in front of fans that know the game. “That’s the cool part about playing in front of people who understand the game of golf.”
Tiger is looking forward to playing the course at Kingston Heath and is interested in studying the course bunkering to use in his own designs. The change of this tournament to Kingston Heath has been said to be the factor that convinced Woods to make the trip. That, along with $3 million certainly makes this trip worthwhile.