Archive for Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Golf Notebook: Woods expected to make appearance in Skins Game

June 20, 2001


— Tiger Woods already has his own silly-season tournament for 16 players and the Battle of Bighorn, a mixed-team affair including David Duval, Annika Sorenstam and Karrie Webb.

Next on the horizon: The Skins Game.

Expect to see Woods return this year as part of his new endorsement deal with Disney.

Woods has played the Skins Game only twice, finishing third in 1996 and 1997. The Thanksgiving weekend event, which began in 1993, has been lackluster in recent years with few marquee players. Colin Montgomerie is the defending champion.

Woods is expected to sign the Disney deal today, a contract that has been whittled down to what IMG agent Mark Steinberg described as a "creative golf package."

Instead of promoting Mickey Mouse or any of Disney's theme parks, Woods will do a number of televised golf exhibitions that are carried by ABC Sports or ESPN, both of which are owned by Disney.

When asked if Woods will return to the Skins Game, Steinberg said, "It's possible."

The Disney contract took over six months to negotiate. One of the sticking points was avoiding confusion over Woods' marketing image as the chief Nike pitchman, and making sure it did not encroach on his time or responsibilities to his other dozen endorsements.

"It not where we started, but it was the most logical place to end up," Steinberg said of the contract. "Everybody on all sides is comfortable with it."

Foreign slam: Retief Goosen put an end to Tiger Woods' hopes of winning the Grand Slam in the same season, thanks to his playoff victory in the U.S. Open. He also shut down the American slam.

It now has been 19 years since Americans won all four majors in the same season, dating to 1982 when Craig Stadler won the Masters, Tom Watson won the U.S. Open and British Open, and Raymond Floyd won the PGA Championship.

Webb working out: The fitness craze has finally caught up with Karrie Webb, and the two-time U.S. Open champion doesn't like it.

"When I was younger, I could get away with not working out," the 26-year-old Australian said. "Now I'm older, and I can't do that anymore."

Webb said she has been exercising the past couple of years, but only started getting serious about it six months ago. She runs three times a week, and works on the treadmill.

"I have to admit, I don't enjoy it all," Webb said. "But I know I need to feel good on the golf course and I don't want to be totally exhausted by December."

Her only weakness?

"I like a beer or two," she said.

Goose is loose: Retief Goosen became the first player to make the U.S. Open his first victory on American soil since fellow South African Ernie Els.

He won the first U.S. Open playoff since Els in 1994. He became the first international champion since Els in 1997.

The next question is whether Goosen like Els will leave Europe and play the majority of his tournaments on the PGA Tour.

"I'll definitely still support the European tour," he said. "I've been living in London now for eight years, and that's sort of home for me. I'll give it until the end of the year and then decide whether I'm going to play fulltime here or not."

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