Superstar Trio Woods Federer Henry Join Forces

By Associated PressFebruary 4, 2007, 5:00 pm
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and Thierry Henry will team in an endorsement deal with Gillette that will put the trio in TV commercials around the world.
 
The agreement -- combining star power in golf, tennis and soccer -- was announced after the Dubai Desert Classic in which Woods finished two strokes behind winner Henrik Stenson.
 
Gillette executives declined to say how much the athletes will be paid. Woods already endorses an array of products, and last year renewed his deal with Nike that will pay him about $30 million a year.
 
Chip Bergh, Gillette's president of global grooming, said his company selected the three not just because of their success in sports and marketing, but because each embodies 'true sporting values' and was a good example off the field.
 
Woods, Federer and Henry posed for photographers with shaving cream, something Woods doesn't have to use all that often.
 
'I started (shaving) a little late. My stubble didn't quite grow in,' said Woods, his face red from a sandstorm earlier in the day. 'My dad showed me how to do it and I tried to do it just like him. I got foam all over the place.'
 
Woods and Federer, the two dominant players in their sports, have become friends the past year. Woods was in Federer's box last year to watch his U.S. Open victory. A few months later, Federer walked the course with Woods at a golf tournament in China. Federer, a 10-time Grand Slam champion, strolled the course again Sunday in Dubai.
 
'Getting to know Roger has been pretty cool,' Woods said. 'We see sport on so many different levels the same way.'
 
Federer said he'd started playing a bit of golf on courses in the United States and in Switzerland.
 
'I don't play that much golf, but I do hope to get Tiger to teach me,' Federer said.
 
Henry, the Frenchman who stars for Arsenal in the English Premier League, said he admired Woods and Federer but had trouble watching golf.
 
'I would stay up really late to see Tiger play,' Henry said. 'Sometimes, I have to be honest, I did fall asleep.'
 
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.