Garcia earns favorable ruling in tax court

By Will GrayMarch 16, 2013, 3:23 pm

As Sergio Garcia moved up the leaderboard this week at Innisbrook, news broke that the Spaniard had also earned an important victory off the course – one that may have repercussions for other professional golfers.

Garcia, who begins the weekend just three shots off the lead in Tampa, was awarded a favorable ruling in a U.S. tax court this week as part of an ongoing battle with the Internal Revenue Service, according to a Reuters report.

At the crux of the case was $1.7 million in taxes that the IRS charged the Spaniard in 2003-04 based on revenue he earned from TaylorMade, money which they deemed 'service payments' tied to his use of the sponsor's gear while playing. Garcia argued that the money was from royalties based on the use of his likeness in ad campaigns and, as he was living in Switzerland at the time – a country that spares any royalty income of its residents from U.S. taxes – he was exempt from paying.

According to the report, the court awarded Garcia a 65 percent/35 percent split in the ruling, meaning the majority of the income in question was deemed as royalties, noting that Garcia was TaylorMade's only 'global icon' during the years in question.

As part of Judge Joseph Goeke's 37-page written decision, he explained that the Spaniard 'was the centerpiece of TaylorMade's marketing,' noting that such status was 'strong evidence that his TaylorMade endorsement agreement was more heavily weighted toward image rights.'

Tax experts feel this ruling could have repercussions for golfers in future contracts depending on their country of residence, the report indicates. Moving forward, players may look to sign endorsement contracts that pay them more in royalty fees, which are generally more difficult to value for tax purposes.

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Watch: Tiger's drive startles strolling duck

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 25, 2018, 7:21 pm

Tiger Woods split the eighth fairway with a 287-yard, 3-wood on Sunday and startled a duck (goose?) who was merely out and about for a stroll at PGA National.

The duck (goose?) walked away under its own power, and Woods followed up with a wedge to inside 9 feet and his third birdie of the front nine.

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Watch: Tiger's Sunday birdies at the Honda

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 25, 2018, 6:40 pm

One day after he left a barrage of birdie opportunities out on the golf course, Tiger Woods worked his way into red figures early on Sunday.

Seven off the pace to start the day, Woods found the first fairway, hit the first green and rolled in a 20-footer for his firist birdie of the day.

After narrowly missing a 10-footer for what would have been another circle at the par-5 third, Woods came right back at the fourth, flying an approach from 148 yards to 9 feet and finishing the job.

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New-look Korda wins after serious jaw surgery

By Will GrayFebruary 25, 2018, 6:31 pm

If the pictures of Jessica Korda from the Honda LPGA Thailand cause you to do a double-take, you're not alone.

Korda's world-class talent was on full display this week in Asia, where she won by four shots, but so too was her new-look face. The 24-year-old underwent serious jaw surgery in December, a final attempt to address a significant overbite that led to ailments ranging from facial cramping to headaches to sleep apnea.

The procedure was intense. Doctors first broke her nose, then broke her jaw in five different places - three on the top, and two on the bottom. She now has 27 screws in her face, and the physical result still requires some adjustment for a woman who now has five career LPGA wins.

"I look at pictures of myself and I don't feel like I look like that person," Korda told Golfweek. "I don't know who that is. And then I look at pictures of my old self and that doesn't look like me either."

Full-field scores from the Honda LPGA Thailand

The Dec. 7 surgery left Korda unable to eat, with her mother reportedly feeding her through a syringe for "weeks." Korda's facial structure before the surgery was such that she was only using 20 percent of her teeth when chewing food.

But despite returning to practice only six weeks ago and still dealing with lingering numbness in her face, Korda promptly dusted a world-class field in her first start back. She shot 25 under for the week, highlighted by a second-round 62, leaving the likes of Lexi Thompson and Ariya Jutanugarn in her wake.

After a difficult winter, Korda's look may have changed but her game clearly remains unaffected.

"Coming in after surgery, I didn't know what to expect," Korda told reporters. "Obviously when I look at myself, I still don't feel like I look like myself yet. That will come. I'm just very, very happy. All the hard work I was putting in in the off-season when I could has paid off rather quickly."

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 25, 2018, 4:45 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.