Friendly Buyer to Purchase IMG

By Brian HewittOctober 6, 2004, 4:00 pm
There is a shift occurring in the tectonic plates of the power structure of golf. And Vijay Singh is right at the epicenter.
No, were not talking about Singhs recent ascendancy to the top of the Official World Golf Rankings. Were talking about the fact that Singhs long-time pro-am partner, Wall Street leveraged buyout king Teddie Forstmann, has agreed to purchase the International Management Group for a reported price of more than $700 million.
IMG, which represents Singh, Tiger Woods, Annika Sorenstam and many other prominent athletes inside and outside golf, has been without a chairman since the death of its founder, Mark McCormack, in May of 2003.
Forstmann and McCormack were friends and sources say that friendship factored into Forstmanns fund group, Forstmann Little & Co., winning the highly-competitive bidding war for IMG. It should be noted that IMG is not a publicly held company and this was not a hostile takeover.
In fact the early reports at IMG are that the arrival on the scene of Forstmann will be for the better. IMG employees received a copy of the press release announcing the purchase attached to a cover memo informing them, basically, that this was a good thing.
The assumption is that he (Forstmann) will be chairman and remain chairman as long as he owns the company, said an IMG source.
Forstmann, 64, is taking pains to point out that he will continue to run Forstmann Little. My professional responsibility is to make a return for investors, he told Reuters. But theres no rule against having a good time while youre doing it. And I expect to have a very good time with these guys (IMG).
Singh and Forstmann are partnering this week at the dunhill links Championship in Scotland. Forstmann is also expected to attend the Champions Dinner next week at the HSBC World Match Play Championship at the Wentworth Club in Surrey, England.
And oh-by-the-way, IMG runs the World Match Play.
The long term effects of Forstmann on IMG arent completely clear. But his golf background has everybody breathing a little more easily. Comfort is also being taken from the fact that Forstmann Little enlisted the services of Gleacher & Company, an acquisitions advisory firm, to dot the Is and cross the Ts on the acquisition. Eric Gleacher, the companys head, is a former college golfer and USGA secretary.
In any event, its suddenly amusing to certain individuals in golf that Singh is more likely to have his phone calls returned by the top guy at IMG than Woods is.
The fact of the matter is that Alastair Johnston and Robert Kain, IMGs current co-chief executives, will continue to run the day-to-day business of the company. To the extent that Forstmann will have influence, it will be on decisions to grow the company and determine new directions.
Depending on how seriously he takes that charge, and how much he applies his contacts in the business world, Forstmann could one day become one of the two or three most powerful figures in golf.
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Rose (62) sets blistering pace in Indonesia

By Associated PressDecember 14, 2017, 3:06 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Justin Rose shot a 10-under 62 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, starting on the back nine at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, had five birdies to go out in 31, then birdied four of five holes midway through his final nine and another birdie on his last hole in the $750,000 tournament.

Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

Gunn Charoenkul (64) was in second place and Kim Giwhan and Phachara Khongwatmai (both 65) were tied for third.

Brandt Snedeker shot 72. Ranked 51st in the world, the American is aiming for a strong finish in Jakarta to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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LaCava: Woods wouldn't talk after H.O.R.S.E. match

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 2:27 pm

The competitive streak within Tiger Woods knows no bounds - even on the basketball court, according to caddie Joe LaCava.

LaCava has been on Woods' bag since 2011, and he recently shared a story on "Inside the Ropes" on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio about a clash between the two men over a seemingly friendly game of H.O.R.S.E. Actually, it turned into nine straight games (and nine straight wins) for LaCava, who exploited a weakness in Woods' on-court strategy while leaning on a mid-length jumper of his own:

"The thing with him was if I missed a shot, which I missed plenty of shots, but if I missed the shot he'd go back down to the 3 (point line) because he liked to make the 3," LaCava said. "But it's harder obviously to make a 3, and I'd go right back to the baseline 12-footer, and he couldn't make it."

It's a short list of people who have beaten Woods nine times in any athletic pursuit, let alone in a row. But for LaCava, the fallout from his afternoon of on-court dominance was less than subtle.

"He did not talk to me the rest of the day," LaCava explained. "I didn't even get the old text, 'Dinner is ready,' because I stay across at the beach house. I didn't even get that text that night. I had to get take-out. He didn't announce he wasn't (talking), he just did it. I'm telling you, nine games in a row. Like I said, he's so competitive, even at something like that."

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 3, Tiger Woods

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:45 pm

After returning to competition at the Hero World Challenge in December 2016, Woods started the new year with an ambitious slate of tournament starts as he eyed his first full season since 2013. But he made it only three rounds, looking rusty en route to a missed cut at Torrey Pines before withdrawing abruptly in Dubai.

The “spasms” that led to that withdrawal turned out to be something far more serious, as Woods underwent his fourth and most invasive back surgery in April, a lumbar fusion. It brought with it an extensive rehabilitation, and at the Presidents Cup in September Woods humored the prospect that he might never again play competitive golf.

At Liberty National he also faced some scrutiny for an off-course incident from months prior. In May he was arrested for suspicion of DUI, an incident that produced a startling roadside video of an intoxicated Woods struggling to follow instructions from the arresting officer after driving erratically.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

While he was not drinking at the time, Woods was found to have a mix of several prescription medications in his system, including multiple painkillers. He checked himself into a private drug treatment program in July to address his dependency issues, and in October he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving.

But the incident was barely a memory when Woods again made a return to competition in the Bahamas at the tournament he hosts. This time around he exceeded nearly every expectation, twice shooting 4-under 68 while tying for ninth among the 18-man field. Having re-tooled his swing following fusion surgery, Woods appeared relaxed, happy and healthy while briefly taking the lead during the tournament’s second round.

What lies ahead for Woods in 2018 remains uncertain, as the stop-and-start nature of this past season serves as a cautionary tale. But after a harrowing arrest and another serious surgery, he seems once again focused on his game, intent on chasing down a new crop of elite talent, some of whom are barely more than half his age.

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Tiger Woods at his 2017 DUI court hearing.

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Tiger Woods at his 2017 DUI court hearing.

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Woods goes from unsure of his pro golf future to resuming full golf activities

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:30 pm