Notes Tigers Design Team Jordans Ranking

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2007 THE PLAYERSPONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Among those watching Tiger Woods at the Wachovia Championship last week was Beau Welling, who used to be the top designer for Tom Fazio and played a big role in the redesign of Quail Hollow.
 
But his presence had more to do with the future.
 
Woods has hired Welling to do the work on Al Ruwaya in Dubai, the first golf course for Tiger Woods Design. The golf course is supposed to be done by September 2009.
 
Woods said Bryon Bell, whom he hired as president of Tiger Woods Design, found Welling after looking at the philosophies of various design companies.
 
'Beau fit what we wanted to have happen,' Woods said.
 
Dubai is the only course in which Woods is involved, and he did not say whether he would continue to use Welling for other projects.
 
Welling now has his own company, and golf course design is not his only interest. He recently was appointed president of the U.S. Curling Association.
 
ATHLETES AND GOLF
Golf Digest gleaned the USGA Golf Handicap and Information Network, talked to state associates and even the athletes themselves to come up with a list of the top athlete golfers for its June issue of the magazine.
 
Rick Rhoden, the baseball pitcher and leading money-winner on the Celebrity Players Tour, was No. 1 on the list with a plus-2.5 handicap, followed by former hockey player Ray Sheppard (plus 2.5) and former Green Bay Packer Sterling Sharpe (plus 2.4). The top 10 included six football players - three quarterbacks, two kickers and a wide receiver.
 
Michael Jordan was in a tie for 30th, while home run king Henry Aaron was tied for 209th. Of the 220 athletes in the ranking, football produced the most with 70 players. Six women made the list, led by tennis player Gigi Fernandez (1.6) in a tie for 36th.
 
PINK SPIKES
CHAMP Spikes has launched a 'Pink on the Links' program to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research, pledging donations on behalf of players who wear pink spikes on Mother's Day at The Players Championship on the PGA TOUR and at the Michelob Ultra Open on the LPGA Tour.
 
'This was a perfect opportunity for us to honor mothers everywhere and directly fund research to find a cure for a disease that affects so many women,' CHAMP president Harris MacNeill said.
 
More than a dozen players already were wearing the pink spikes at Sawgrass, including two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal, two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen, Justin Leonard, Chad Campbell and Corey Pavin.
 
DIVOTS
The Memorial has given sponsors' exemptions to John Daly and tour rookie Kyle Reifers, who used to caddie at Muirfield Village when he was in high school. ... The Women's British Open has a new title sponsor (Ricoh) and will continue to play mostly links. It will be held for the first time this year at St. Andrews, along with Royal Lytham & St. Annes in 2009 and Royal Birkdale in 2010. It likely will go to Sunningdale next year. ... Jim Colbert is famous for telling guys who complain to 'Play better.' Jeff Sluman put a new wrinkle on that phrase when he said last week of various PGA TOUR policies, 'Nothing has ever been done out here that has held a great player back.' ... A report by Deloitte & Touche says the Irish economy received a $194.6 million boost from the Ryder Cup. The report said spectators spent 60 percent more than they did four years ago at The Belfry in England.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
John Daly has shot 80 or higher 50 times on the PGA TOUR. Arnold Palmer had 48 rounds in the 80s during his career, but only 11 of them before he turned 50.
 
FINAL WORD
'I can see it from my house in Orlando.' - Charles Howell III, on the new clubhouse at the TPC Sawgrass.
 
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