Tuesday, November 10

The Tiger Woods Australian Stimulus Plan

“THANK GOD IT’S NOT NORMAL,” Tiger Woods said at his Monday press conference in Melbourne. A presser, by the way, that was broadcast live throughout Australia.

Tiger was referring to the 7,000 Australian golf fans who followed him during a practice round in advance of the Australian Masters. TV network helicopters circled above as Tiger and Craig Parry played nine holes. Another oddity: a sold out sign was posted at the ticket booth.

“No one could remember the last time a tournament had no tickets available,” wrote the AP’s Doug Ferguson.

It’s been 11 years since Tiger visited Down Under. The 1998 Presidents Cup, to be exact. He was 22. To Aussies, it must seem like another golf lifetime. The Great White Shark, Greg Norman, defeated Tiger in singles as the International team notched its only win in the event’s history.

Tiger’s arrival in Melbourne on Sunday was like the return of golf’s prodigal son. He was transported by limousine from Essendon Airport and his movements seem to be as secretive and closely guarded as  those of heads of state. Security is extremely tight, including double what it would normally be at the Australian Masters. The tournament will be played at Kingston Heath Golf Club. Tiger is fond of the track.

“Unbelievable golf course,” he said.

“I always have been a huge fan of the sandbelt courses. The bunkering is just phenomenal. You never get a chance to see bunkering like this is any other place in the world. You don’t need a golf course that is 7,500 yards for it to be hard. You can build it just like this and have it nice and tricky, and it’s just a treat to play.”

The $3.3 million price tag to bring Tiger to Australia is expected to net $20 million in economic benefits, according to reports I’ve read. The Australian Masters is also expected to attract a global TV audience of 380 million. Not too shabby for mid November. 

−The Armchair Golfer

(Image: Keith Allison/Flickr)


Mark Crossfield said...

Tiger is by far the biggest pull in golf and even world sport. Who would not want to get a look at a walking legend if they got the chance.

Lancer said...

While the pundits say that nobody is bigger than the game, Tiger continues to prove them wrong. For a golfer to be the biggest thing in all of sports is almost unbelievable, but Tiger is also almost unbelievable, too. He earned it all...good on him.

GolfinLove said...

Tiger is the perfect demonstration of the Law of Attraction in action. Wherever he is, he is truly irresistible. I voluneered at the US Open at Torrey Pines and watching the bubble of adoring fans following his every move was amazing. Poor guy even got followed to the loo! I am amazed that he keeps his cool and handles the pressure so gracefully...tournament after tournament! No wonder he loves his yacht!


David said...

Professional Golf has got to be happy that Tiger plays as much as he does. No matter what venue he is at, they are sold out.

Now if the LPGA could find a Tiger they might get back on track.