Nike releases Woods ad featuring late father

By Associated PressApril 8, 2010, 12:01 am

NEW YORK – Nike aired a new TV commercial Wednesday featuring Tiger Woods and the voice of his late father, an edgy move that calls out his personal problems on the eve of his return to competitive golf.

The ad aired on ESPN and the Golf Channel just one day before The Masters begins.

In the stark, black-and-white ad, a solemn Woods looks directly into the camera without speaking while a recording of his late father is heard, speaking about taking responsibility.

“Did you learn anything?” Earl Woods says.

Woods is returning to golf after a leave that followed revelations of infidelities and a stint in rehab. The ad marks the first TV ad for Woods, who had been the face of many companies, since his problems surfaced in late November.

Nike Inc. is one of the few sponsors to stand by Woods during his troubles. Woods is the face of the company’s golf line and will be using its products when he plays in Augusta, Ga. on Thursday.

“We support Tiger and his family. As he returns to competitive golf, the ad addresses his time away from the game using the powerful words of his father,” Nike said in a statement.

Nike typically doesn’t shy away from mentioning athletes’ troubles in its ads, experts say. The company has stuck by other athletes with personal problems, such as basketball star Charles Barkley, who famously said in one ad he shouldn't be a role model.

Other advertisers can get away with not mentioning their spokespeople’s problems, but not when the athlete is this famous or when the scandal is so public, said John Sweeney, director of sports communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Some may question using Woods’ father or mentioning the golfer’s personal problems, but it makes sense from Nike’s perspective.

“You’ve stayed with the man, how do you re-engage?” Sweeney said. “It’s not a question of what we would like to do under perfect circumstances, it’s like we’ve stayed the course, he’s back, how do we address it?”

The ad also plays off Woods’ prodigy aura by using his father, who is partly credited with Woods’ early success.

Woods has repeatedly said since re-emerging into public life that he strayed from the values instilled in him by his parents.

In the commercial, Woods stands outside, on what appears to be a golf course, with the trademark Nike “swoosh” visible on his dark hat and sweater vest. He barely blinks, while Earl Woods is heard saying in the background:

“Tiger, I am more prone to be inquisitive to promote discussion. I want to find out what your thinking was. I want to find out what your feelings are, and did you learn anything?” the elder Woods is heard saying while his son looks solemnly into the camera.

Nike, based in Beaverton, Ore., said the ad was created by Wieden+Kennedy, an advertising agency based in nearby Portland, that the company has partnered with for years.

Woods had been the sports world’s biggest moneymaker and was the first $1 billion earner.

But he lost top endorsements from companies such as Accenture LLP and AT&T Inc. as the scandal unfolded. Other companies like Procter & Gamble Co.’s Gillette unit, didn’t drop him outright, although it stopped featuring him in advertisements.

But companies more closely linked to his golf ability, such as Nike, memorabilia maker Upper Deck Co. and video game maker Electronic Arts Inc. stuck by him.

Experts say it will be a year or more before any major new companies sign Woods. Even then, it will depend on whether he can return to his winning ways.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.