PGA of America Reports Tournament Income Up in 2002
PGA FINANCIALS: The PGA of America has released its annual report, and although revenues in general are down about four percent, tournament and other special operations are humming right along.
PGA revenue for the year ended June 30, 2002, was $103.3 million, down from $107.5 million for the prior year. But tournaments in the latest year, including the Ryder Cup and the PGA Championship, drew $61.3 million versus $59.9 million the year before. Marketing-related income rose to $4.2 million last year from $3.7 million the year before.
Disappointments came in the categories of investment income ' no surprise in this economy ' which was $887,000 in the year ended June 30, 2001. But in the latest year, the PGA weathered investment losses of more than $2.5 million. Golf course licensing, consulting and ownership income was $15.6 million in the latest year, down from just more than $16 million in the year ended June 30, 2001.
Spending on member benefits increased year-to-year, from $6 million in the year ended June 30, 2001 to $7.6 million in the latest year. Same for public awareness campaigns, for which spending jumped from $243,000 to $578,000. But growth of the game program spending dropped from $4 million to $3.8 million.
CUSTOMIZED GOLF TV: On your computer, that is. Detailed audio and video coverage of the PGA Tour will be available through TOURCast Plus, an online subscription service developed by the tour, interactive content, technology and marketing company Sportvision Inc. and Internet media delivery specialists RealNetworks Inc. Also involved is longtime tour ally IBM, which will handle the Web hosting duties.
Whew ' now that the credits are done, what will this thing do? No less than detailed, shot-by-shot coverage of every player in the field, the principals promise. The Tours Shotlink program, which gathers data from the course as play progresses, will have a significant role.
Supporting software will allow fans to choose which players to follow, and even to compare chosen players on various holes. Theres also a replay application, performance analysis capabilities, and informational programming.
The system is in place for this weeks Nissan Open. A three-hole free trial is available at PGATour.com. Subscribers will pay $9.95 per month for the stand-alone service, or $14.95 for the service bundled with other-sport applications.
PRICE ON THE BALL: Staunch Precept endorser Nick Price has jumped on board with the companys latest golf ball offering for the Nissan Open. Price will play the U-Tri Extra Spin ball, which Precept pitches as a three-piece, seamless, urethane-covered orb. The lack of a seam protects trajectory, Precept says, and the thermoplastic urethane helps create desirable greenside spin. (Other companies, Callaway Golf included, have embraced hot-process urethane technology; Callaways CTU balls boast cast thermoset urethane.)
The U-Tri is designed to compete with Titleists Pro V1 and other premium entries, Precept says, but at a lower price: Precept says its ball will retail for between $25 and $30 per dozen.
HES BADD, SO BADD, YOU KNOW IT Joining Lee Janzen and Jose Maria Olazabal on MacGregor Golfs is Australian phenom Aaron Baddeley. The deal provides for Baddeley to play MacGregor V-Foil forged clubs and wear a company hat starting at Nissan.
Also on the MacGregor staff are veterans Tommy Armour III, Carl Paulson and Garrett Willis.
ABOUT TIME: When Mexican rookie sensation Lorena Ochoa teed it up for the first time this year in the Australian Ladies Masters, she was the first woman pro to have $1 million in endorsement contracts sewn up before the peg went in the ground. Thats the industry scuttlebutt, anyway; the parties arent opening the books.
Ochoas management team, led by veteran agent Rocky Hambric, secured deals for Ochoa with airline Aeromexico, car maker Audi, Office Depot and sports collectible power Upper Deck.
Ochoa will also play Nike balls and wear that companys shoes; Nike will have second billing on her hat (Audi is out front on the headgear).
Hambric is experienced at getting big deals for hot college prospects. He engineered the multimillion dollar endorsement contract that Charles Howell III signed with Callaway before his debut.
CLOSING THOUGHT: If you give a two-year-old a cut-down putter, should you also invest in drywall repair supplies?
Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish
NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.
Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.
The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.
Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.
The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.
Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him
It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.
Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.
The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:
The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.
For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.
Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter
After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.
But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.
Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":
Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.
Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.
Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.
The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.
“There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.
In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.
“To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”
Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.
“To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.