$11B Tiger Woods Dubai course plan on track

By Associated PressAugust 25, 2008, 4:00 pm
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates ' Tiger Woods is already the worlds top-ranked golfer and highest paid athlete. And if all goes according to plan, hell soon be sporting his biggest trophy yet: a luxury golf course hewn from the sands of the Arabian desert.
 
The ambitious project, touted as the first course in the world designed by the 2008 U.S. Open champion, remains a work in progress on the outskirts of this Middle Eastern boomtown ' much like the rapidly growing city itself.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods won the Dubai Desert Classic in 2006 and 2008. (Getty Images)
But the projects chief said Monday that the first phase of the development, which among other unlikely features promises 5 million square feet of locally grown grass and more than 30,000 full-grown imported trees, is on target for completion sometime in the last three months of 2009.
 
Our schedule is currently on track, Abdulla Al Gurg said in an interview with the Associated Press.
 
However, Gurg did leave the Dubai-based developer Tatweer some wiggle room in case the citys notorious work delays snag one of its most high-profile projects, adding: Our key criteria is adherence to excellence.
 
Tatweer is a division of Dubai Holding, which is owned by the emirate and its ruler, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The golf course project, known as The Tiger Woods Dubai, will be part of a massive theme-park complex known as Dubailand the company is building on barren desert along the edge of the city.
 
Gurg said the company is spending 4 billion dirhams ' about $1.09 billion ' to build the course and the surrounding housing development.
 
He wouldnt say how much Woods was being paid.
 
Gurg spoke following an event to showcase the project at a glitzy beachfront hotel just down the road from a man-made marina surrounded by dozens of skyscrapers, many still under construction.
 
Emirates newspapers have been trying to entice local buyers with full-page ads to consider one of the 197 so-called palaces, mansions and villas that will flank the course.
 
The projects first stage will consist of the 18-hole, par 72 course itself, as well as a golf academy and a driving range. A hotel and most of the gated housing community should be finished by the second or third quarter of 2010, Gurg said.
 
On Monday, Woods paid his first visit to the construction site since a recent knee surgery sidelined him for the rest of the 2008 season. He said he doesnt know when he will return to competition.
 
All thats unknown, Woods said. Its frustrating for me.
 
Despite its dry, desert climate ' temperatures on Monday hovered around 100 degrees ' Dubai is rapidly becoming a major golfing destination.
 
The city, which is banking on tourism to diversify its economy, each year hosts the Dubai Desert Classic and Dubai Ladies Masters. Back-to-back birdies on the last two holes in February left Woods the Desert Classics defending champion.
 
Woods said he drew inspiration for his first course from clubs in the sandbelt golfing region near Melbourne, Australia. We want this golf course to play fast, quick, he said, while remaining appealing to a broad range of players.
 
Woods is not the only golfer laying out links in Dubai.
 
An 18-hole course designed by Colin Montgomerie was launched in 2006, and another by Ernie Els opened earlier this year. Greg Norman, Sergio Garcia, Pete Dye and Vijay Singh are also working on courses scheduled to open this year or next.
 
Dubai developers have tapped other marquee names as well, as they struggle to make their projects stand out in an increasingly crowded real-estate market.
 
Donald Trump last week hosted a star-studded bash to tout plans for a new hotel on the first of three palm-shaped islands being built in the Persian Gulf.
 
Brad Pitt has signed on to help design a hotel of his own, while Giorgio Armani is outfitting apartments in the unfinished Burj Dubai, already the worlds tallest building. And last month, a Dubai investment company announced that fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld will design homes on a man-made fashion island off the citys coast.
 
Plans for Woods course were first made public more than a year and a half ago. But as the project and a number of other high-profile developments near completion, fears are growing that Dubais soaring property market may be due for a correction.
 
Morgan Stanley recently predicted the city could face a supply glut by next year that could drive property values down by 10 percent. At the same time, the government is widening a probe into alleged corruption of a handful of prominent local companies, including some with ties to the real estate sector.
 
But Gurg said he wasnt worried Dubai market concerns could make it difficult to fill the high-end houses around the golf course. After all, he said, its not everywhere homeowners can say their backyard has been designed by Woods himself.
 
The Tiger Woods Dubai is catering toward a niche market, Gurg said, adding that the developers were in no hurry but were focused on quality to attract potential residents to the 197 exclusive housings.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage -- 2008 Dubai Desert Classic
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    McIlroy, Rahm betting co-favorites after Open Round 1

    By Will GrayJuly 19, 2018, 10:10 pm

    They're both three shots off the lead, but after starting The Open with rounds in the 60s Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are now betting co-favorites to lift the claret jug at Carnoustie.

    McIlroy is four years removed from his Open triumph at Royal Liverpool, while Rahm remains in search of his first major title. Both carded rounds of 2-under 69 in Scotland to sit three shots off the lead of Kevin Kisner. While McIlroy started the tournament at 16/1 and Rahm at 20/1, they're now dead even at 10/1 in updated odds at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.

    Kisner started the week at 200/1, but after an opening-round 66 he's quickly been trimmed to 25/1. Tony Finau sits one shot behind Kisner and is now listed behind only McIlroy and Rahm at 12/1 after starting the tournament at 60/1.

    On the other side of the coin, consensus pre-tournament betting favorite Dustin Johnson fell from 12/1 to 100/1 following an opening 76 while Masters champ Patrick Reed shot a 4-over 75 to plummet from 30/1 to 200/1. Trailing by five shots following an opening-round 71, Tiger Woods' odds remained unchanged at 25/1 as he seeks a 15th career major title.

    Here's a look at the revised betting odds heading into the second round at Carnoustie:

    10/1: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm

    12/1: Tony Finau

    14/1: Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler

    20/1: Francesco Molinari

    25/1: Tiger Woods, Alex Noren, Henrik Stenson, Kevin Kisner

    30/1: Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka

    40/1: Ryan Moore, Jason Day

    50/1: Erik Van Rooyen, Brandon Stone, Matt Kuchar

    60/1: Danny Willett, Thomas Pieters, Marc Leishman, Thorbjorn Olesen, Russell Henley, Matthew Southgate

    80/1: Webb Simpson, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Brendan Steele, Kevin Na

    100/1: Dustin Johnson, Zander Lombard, Sung Kang, Paul Casey, Louis Oosthuizen, Xander Schauffele, Chris Wood, Pat Perez, Luke List, Charley Hoffman

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    Despite 78, Lincicome savors PGA Tour experience

    By Randall MellJuly 19, 2018, 9:41 pm

    Two bad holes derailed Brittany Lincicome in her historic start Thursday at the Barbasol Championship, but they couldn’t wipe the smile off her face afterward.

    It might have been the most fun she ever had shooting a 78.

    Lincicome joined Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie as the only women to tee it up in a PGA Tour event when she striped her opening tee shot down the middle Thursday at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky.

    A double bogey at her ninth hole and a triple at her 16th might have spoiled her chances at joining Zaharias as the only women to make a 36-hole cut in a PGA Tour event, but it didn’t spoil her experience.

    “I did what I wanted to do, with having fun,” Lincicome said. “I think I nailed that part pretty well.

    “I love playing with the guys. It's so much fun, being inside the ropes with them. Hopefully, I can get a good one tomorrow.”

    Lincicome, 32, held her own for 16 holes, playing them in 1 over par, but those two big numbers left her tied for last place when she signed her scorecard, though other players remained on the course.

    At 6 over, Lincicome is 13 shots behind the leader, probably seven or eight shots off the projected cut line, but she savored the experience. She arrived wanting to inspire young girls to dream big, and to bring some extra attention to a title sponsor who means so much to her. She represents Pure Silk, part of the Barbasol family.

    Sam Ryder, who joined Conrad Shindler playing alongside Lincicome, was impressed with the way Lincicome carried herself.

    “I would play with her every day if she wanted to,” said Ryder, who opened with a 68. “She's just a great person.

    “Even though I know she's probably a little disappointed with her final score, she had a smile on her face all day.”

    Lincicome, an eight-time LPGA winner, made her first birdie at her 12th hole, dropping a 30-foot putt, but she wasn’t happy with her putter much of the day. She missed three other good birdie chances, a 4-footer at her eighth hole, an 8-footer at her 10th and a 12-footer at the last.

    “Pretty happy with my game overall,” Lincicome said. “I had two bad holes, but I drove it well. I did all the things I said I needed to do, but my putter let me down today.”

    After piping her first drive, Lincicome opened with three consecutive pars.

    “I was actually calmer than I thought I was going to be,” she said. “I thought I was going to be a nervous wreck. After the first tee shot, I was pretty happy that I found the fairway.”

    Lincicome said Ryder and Shindler made her feel welcome. So did the crowds.

    “It was great,” she said. “I could feel the energy of the crowd support me. Every time I hit a good driver or good shot, they would cheer for me, which was great.

    “Conrad and Sam were so nice. I couldn't have asked for a better pairing. They were very welcoming, and we were interacting, they were asking me questions, and it was great.”

    On Tuesday, Lincicome said a key to her play would be hitting fairways. She did that, hitting 10 of 14, but she was taking in longer clubs than she does in LPGA events, with Keene Trace set up at 7,168 yards. That’s 600 yards longer than she played last week at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic, where she finished second. She hit just 8 greens in regulation in this PGA Tour start.

    Lincicome is nicknamed “Bam Bam.” She is one of the LPGA’s longest drivers, but she was typically 30 to 40 yards behind Ryder and Shindler after hitting her driver. She averaged 259 yards per drive, Ryder 289 yards.

    “She had a couple birdie putts that she could have made,” Ryder said. “If she made a couple of those, might've been a little bit different, just to get a little bit of momentum. Who knows?”

    Lincicome’s biggest challenges were the par 3s.

    At the 18th, playing 195 yards, she mis-hit her tee shot, knocking it in the water, short of the green. She took a penalty, moved up to a forward tee, dropped and hit into a right greenside bunker. She got up and down from there for a 5.

    At the seventh, playing 198 yards, she missed wild right and deep. From a tough spot in the rough, she left her pitch short of the green. She chipped her third past the hole and to the fringe, where she took three putts from 20 feet.

    Afterward, Lincicome wasn’t dwelling on the bad shots. She was focused on going to sign autographs for all the fans waiting for her, including all the little girls who came out to see her.

    “I need to go back over there and sign,” she said. “Any time I can influence a child, especially a girl, obviously I want to get them involved with the LPGA, as much as possible.”

    Her overall assessment of her day?

    “It was a great experience,” she said.

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    Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:55 pm

    NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

    Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

    Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

    1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

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    Knox relishes round with 'mythical figure' Woods

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 8:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Russell Knox was expecting the worst and hoping for the best Thursday at The Open.

    Playing with Tiger Woods tends to have that effect.

    The native Scot received a treat earlier this week when he saw his name on the tee sheet alongside his boyhood idol, Woods.

    “Felt good out there, but obviously my swing, it was just like I had too much tension,” Knox said after an opening 73. “I just wasn’t letting it go as normal. First round with Tiger, I expected to feel a little bit different. The way I felt was better than the way I swung.”

    Knox said that he was nervous playing alongside Woods, a player he’d only encountered on the range. “He’s almost like a mythical figure,” he said.

    But after a while, he settled into the rhythm of the round at Carnoustie.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I thought it would be worse,” he said, “I feel like I should know what I’m doing. It’s cool playing with Tiger, but I’ve got to get over that. I’m here to win, not just enjoy my walk around the course.”

    Knox probably had more interaction with Woods than he anticipated, if only because the third member of the group, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, keeps to himself because of the language barrier.

    “It’s kind of a blur,” Knox said. “It’s like, Oh, I’m chatting away with Tiger here like normal. I don’t even remember what I was saying.”

    There have been countless stories from this year as the next generation of players – guys who grew up watching Woods dominate the sport – get paired with Woods for the first time.

    It was no less special for Knox on Thursday.

    “It’s nice for him to say things like that,” Woods said, “and we enjoyed playing with each other. Hopefully we’ll play a little bit better tomorrow.”