Steinberg's Road Ahead

By Kelly TilghmanJune 6, 2011, 9:13 pm

It may have surprised some when Mark Steinberg parted ways with his longtime employer IMG but it comes as no surprise to anyone that Tiger Woods is “staying with Mark Steinberg” as he announced Monday on Twitter.

Woods’ reason for sticking with his man was simple. “I have total confidence in him,” he said.

In an interview with Steinberg on Monday he told me, “I’m flattered and thrilled that Tiger’s staying with me. We’ve been through a lot together and we plan to do some very big things.”

Woods and Steinberg originally formed a partnership 13 years ago. After Tiger parted ways with IMG’s Hughes Norton in late 1998, a 30-year-old Steinberg impressed the 22-year-old Masters champion on a trial run. The rest is history.

The two men share a sharp business mind and a loyal friendship that could lead to becoming business partners. When asked about the possibility of that scenario, Steinberg told me, “yes, there’s a chance.” But he also stated that he’s “absolutely not convinced” they’ll go out on their own.  

It has been reported that IMG wouldn’t renew Mark Steinberg’s contract because his salary and bonuses (an estimated $3 million) exceeded Woods’ 2010 revenue for the company by roughly $2 million.

“I don’t lend any credence to that,” Steinberg added. “I had 19 1/2 years with (IMG) and I wish them well. We couldn’t come to terms on a new agreement.”

For Steinberg, the opportunities are endless. While working as the head of global golf for IMG and spearheading deals for Woods, he developed one of the golf industry’s most powerful contact list, which should be very handy when he makes his final decision about his future. According to Steinberg, he only began talks with potential suitors five days ago. He said the response he’s received is “eye opening and invigorating.”

There is the possibility of forming a partnership with an established agency. Companies like Creative Arts Agency (CAA) and Wasserman have been rumored to be on that list. When asked if he wanted to work for someone else, Steinberg said, “there’s not a mandate for being my own boss. I’m gathering as much information as possible. I’m doing a lot of listening. At some point, something’s just going to feel right.”

Whatever Steinberg decides, the question is, who else will go with him? His other star client is former women’s world No. 1 Annika Sorenstam. Steinberg said Sorenstam wants to wait to see what decision he makes before she commits to following but he did say she’s “interested.” Sorenstam was one of Steinberg’s first clients at IMG. They joined forces in 1994, a year before her historic victory at the U.S. Women’s Open.

On the subject of Woods’ marketability, Steinberg said, “It remains incredibly strong worldwide. People have moved on from November of 2009.”

When asked to comment on the potential for a new endorsement deal for Woods, Steinberg said, “There’s a lot brewing. A new announcement is imminent. We just want to be fair to all companies and get him healthy again.”

There’s no specific timetable for any official decisions from the Steinberg-Woods camp. Both men are dealing with personal issues. Woods is not playing next week’s U.S. Open and he continues to rehabilitate nagging Achilles and knee injuries. Meanwhile, Steinberg is tending to family matters. His mother-in-law is in the critical stages of a hard fought, two-decade battle with breast cancer. 

There’s no doubt Steinberg has a lot on his plate right now. There’s a lot to balance as his career takes a turn, but it’s a turn that he describes as very exciting.

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Two-time major champ Pettersen pregnant

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 7:14 pm

PHOENIX – Suzann Pettersen is pregnant with her first child.

Pettersen’s husband, Christian Ringvold, confirmed the news with Golf Channel’s Jerry Foltz.

Pettersen, 36, who married Ringvold in January of 2017, is due in the fall. The 15-time LPGA winner and two-time major champion has yet to make her first start this year. She’s an eight-time Solheim Cup veteran.

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Watch: Woods rips iron from sand, makes birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 17, 2018, 6:10 pm

Tiger Woods didn't bogey the first hole on Saturday like he did the day prior - but he did drop at a shot at the par-3 second when he failed to get up and down from the bunker.

Luckily, it wouldn't take him long to get that stroke back. One hole later, at the dogleg-left, par-4 third, Woods ripped a 2-iron off the tee, hit a less-than-stellar approach long and right, and poured in this 38-footer for birdie to get back to even par on the day.

He followed with another at the par-5 fourth, smoking a drive 313 yards uphill, short-siding himself with his second shot, and playing this deft pitch to set up a tap-in 4.

After a par save from the bunker at 5, Woods missed the fairway right at the par-5 sixth, laid up with his second, spun a wedge to 15 feet with his third, and rolled in this third birdie of the day to move to 6 under for the week.

Woods' momentum was slowed by a bogey at 8, the product of an errant tee shot, and a missed birdie try at 9 left Tiger to make the turn in 1 under-35, minus-5 for the week.

He quickly returned to 6 under for the championship when he hit an approach from 186 to inside 10 feet at the par-4 11th and walked in the putt:

Following four straight pars, Woods for the second day in a row made an unlikely birdie at the par-5 16th after missing the fairway to the right and declining to layup.

(More coming...)

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 17, 2018, 3:00 pm

It was a 3-under 69 on Saturday for Tiger Woods for a 7-under total through three rounds. We tracked him at Bay Hill.

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Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play

By Ryan LavnerMarch 17, 2018, 2:24 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.

Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.

As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.

Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.

This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.

The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.