$11B Tiger Woods Dubai course plan on track

By Associated PressAugust 25, 2008, 4:00 pm
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates ' Tiger Woods is already the worlds top-ranked golfer and highest paid athlete. And if all goes according to plan, hell soon be sporting his biggest trophy yet: a luxury golf course hewn from the sands of the Arabian desert.
 
The ambitious project, touted as the first course in the world designed by the 2008 U.S. Open champion, remains a work in progress on the outskirts of this Middle Eastern boomtown ' much like the rapidly growing city itself.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods won the Dubai Desert Classic in 2006 and 2008. (Getty Images)
But the projects chief said Monday that the first phase of the development, which among other unlikely features promises 5 million square feet of locally grown grass and more than 30,000 full-grown imported trees, is on target for completion sometime in the last three months of 2009.
 
Our schedule is currently on track, Abdulla Al Gurg said in an interview with the Associated Press.
 
However, Gurg did leave the Dubai-based developer Tatweer some wiggle room in case the citys notorious work delays snag one of its most high-profile projects, adding: Our key criteria is adherence to excellence.
 
Tatweer is a division of Dubai Holding, which is owned by the emirate and its ruler, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The golf course project, known as The Tiger Woods Dubai, will be part of a massive theme-park complex known as Dubailand the company is building on barren desert along the edge of the city.
 
Gurg said the company is spending 4 billion dirhams ' about $1.09 billion ' to build the course and the surrounding housing development.
 
He wouldnt say how much Woods was being paid.
 
Gurg spoke following an event to showcase the project at a glitzy beachfront hotel just down the road from a man-made marina surrounded by dozens of skyscrapers, many still under construction.
 
Emirates newspapers have been trying to entice local buyers with full-page ads to consider one of the 197 so-called palaces, mansions and villas that will flank the course.
 
The projects first stage will consist of the 18-hole, par 72 course itself, as well as a golf academy and a driving range. A hotel and most of the gated housing community should be finished by the second or third quarter of 2010, Gurg said.
 
On Monday, Woods paid his first visit to the construction site since a recent knee surgery sidelined him for the rest of the 2008 season. He said he doesnt know when he will return to competition.
 
All thats unknown, Woods said. Its frustrating for me.
 
Despite its dry, desert climate ' temperatures on Monday hovered around 100 degrees ' Dubai is rapidly becoming a major golfing destination.
 
The city, which is banking on tourism to diversify its economy, each year hosts the Dubai Desert Classic and Dubai Ladies Masters. Back-to-back birdies on the last two holes in February left Woods the Desert Classics defending champion.
 
Woods said he drew inspiration for his first course from clubs in the sandbelt golfing region near Melbourne, Australia. We want this golf course to play fast, quick, he said, while remaining appealing to a broad range of players.
 
Woods is not the only golfer laying out links in Dubai.
 
An 18-hole course designed by Colin Montgomerie was launched in 2006, and another by Ernie Els opened earlier this year. Greg Norman, Sergio Garcia, Pete Dye and Vijay Singh are also working on courses scheduled to open this year or next.
 
Dubai developers have tapped other marquee names as well, as they struggle to make their projects stand out in an increasingly crowded real-estate market.
 
Donald Trump last week hosted a star-studded bash to tout plans for a new hotel on the first of three palm-shaped islands being built in the Persian Gulf.
 
Brad Pitt has signed on to help design a hotel of his own, while Giorgio Armani is outfitting apartments in the unfinished Burj Dubai, already the worlds tallest building. And last month, a Dubai investment company announced that fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld will design homes on a man-made fashion island off the citys coast.
 
Plans for Woods course were first made public more than a year and a half ago. But as the project and a number of other high-profile developments near completion, fears are growing that Dubais soaring property market may be due for a correction.
 
Morgan Stanley recently predicted the city could face a supply glut by next year that could drive property values down by 10 percent. At the same time, the government is widening a probe into alleged corruption of a handful of prominent local companies, including some with ties to the real estate sector.
 
But Gurg said he wasnt worried Dubai market concerns could make it difficult to fill the high-end houses around the golf course. After all, he said, its not everywhere homeowners can say their backyard has been designed by Woods himself.
 
The Tiger Woods Dubai is catering toward a niche market, Gurg said, adding that the developers were in no hurry but were focused on quality to attract potential residents to the 197 exclusive housings.
 
Related Links:
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

    Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

    His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

    Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

    Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

    His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

    “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

    Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

    Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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    Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

    Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

    Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

    What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

    Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

    Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

    Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

    Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

    Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

    Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry