Woods agent no longer running IMG golf division
“He is no longer with IMG,” company spokesman Jim Gallagher said.
IMG announced a reorganization of its golf division Tuesday evening, with Steinberg no longer involved. The move could lead to Woods leaving Cleveland-based IMG, which has represented him his entire career.
Steinberg’s contract was to expire in June.
He was negotiating a new deal with IMG on Tuesday when talks broke down, according to two officials aware of the discussions. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release information.
Steinberg did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
The officials said Woods and Annika Sorenstam would be free to leave IMG and stay with Steinberg if they wanted. Woods signed with IMG when he turned pro in August 1996, and Steinberg became his agent three years later.
At a press conference earlier Tuesday to promote the AT&T National outside Philadelphia, Woods was asked about his future with IMG and with Steinberg.
“I’m committed to both, with IMG, and Mark’s my agent,” Woods said. “It’s been a great relationship. I had a chance to go through a lot of … basically my entire professional career and learn a lot about the business.”
Woods spoke of going to several dinners with IMG founder Mark H. McCormack until he died in 2003.
“Then obviously, my relationship with Mark (Steinberg),” he said. “But I’m very happy with both.”
Woods has a close relationship with Steinberg, a reserve on the Illinois basketball team that went to the Final Four in 1989. If he were to leave IMG and stay with Steinberg, it likely would not make much of a difference in his golf schedule or even his endorsements, as Steinberg did most of that work.
Steinberg has been actively seeking an endorsement for Woods’ bag since late last fall.
In a two-sentence press release Tuesday evening, IMG said Guy Kinnings and Robbie Henchman would be co-heads of IMG Golf. Kinnings was senior vice president of European golf operations, while Henchman was senior vice president of golf in Asia Pacific.
Alastair Johnston, the vice chairman of IMG, will oversee the business of the golf division.
IMG’s billionaire owner, 71-year-old Ted Forstmann, is battling brain cancer. In an interview published Tuesday in The New York Times, Forstmann said he wants to build IMG “quicker than I was going to” so he can pour the money into a charitable trust and give it away.
UCLA junior Vu named WGCA Player of the Year
UCLA junior Lilia Vu was named Player of the Year on Tuesday by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA).
Vu recorded the lowest full-season scoring average (70.37) in UCLA history. Her four tournament wins tied the school record for most victories in a single season.
Vu was also named to the WGCA All-America first team. Here's a look at the other players who joined her on the prestigious list:
WGCA First Team All-Americans
- Maria Fassi, Junior, University of Arkansas
- Kristen Gillman, Sophomore, University of Alabama
- Jillian Hollis, Junior, University of Georgia
- Cheyenne Knight, Junior, University of Alabama
- Jennifer Kupcho, Junior, Wake Forest University
- Andrea Lee, Sophomore, Stanford University
- Leona Maguire, Senior, Duke University
- Sophia Schubert, Senior, University of Texas
- Lauren Stephenson, Junior, University of Alabama
- Maddie Szeryk, Senior, Texas A&M University
- Patty Tavatanakit, Freshman, UCLA
- Lilia Vu, Junior, UCLA
Stroud's caddie wins annual PGA Tour caddie tournament
Casey Clendenon, who caddies for Chris Stroud, won the gross division of the annual PGA Tour caddie tournament on Monday, shooting a 5-under 66 at Trinity Forest Golf Club, site of last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson.
Scott Tway (65), who caddies for Brian Harman, won the net division by two strokes over Wayne Birch, Troy Merritt’s caddie.
Kyle Bradley, Jonathan Byrd’s caddie, took second place with a 71 in the gross division.
The tournament was organized by the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, and proceeds from the event went to two charities. The APTC donated $20,000 to Greg Chalmers’ charity, MAXimumChances.org, which aids families living with autism. The association also donated $10,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Bjorn adds four Ryder Cup veterans as vice captains
European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn has added a quartet of vice captains for the biennial matches this fall in Paris.
Bjorn had already named Robert Karlsson as his first assistant, and he announced Tuesday at the BMW PGA Championship that his group of advisors will also include major champions Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell, and former world No. 1s Lee Westwood and Luke Donald.
Westwood is among Europe's most decorated Ryder Cup players, and his addition in this role signals he likely won't participate as a player in the matches for the first time since 1995. The Englishman has spoken openly about his desire to captain the European squad at Whistling Straits in 2020, but he's been quiet on the course in recent months, with a missed secondary cut at the Houston Open his only start since mid-February.
Harrington is seen as another possible captain for the 2020 matches, and he'll don an earpiece for the third straight Ryder Cup, having represented Europe as a player on six straight teams from 1999-2010.
Donald played on four Ryder Cup teams from 2004-12, with the Europeans winning each time he was on the roster. This will mark his first stint as a vice captain, as Donald announced last month that he would be sidelined indefinitely while recovering from a back injury.
At age 38, McDowell will be the youngest vice captain in the room, having holed the winning putt eight years ago at Celtic Manor. He won the French Open in both 2013 and 2014 at Le Golf National, site of this year's matches, and will also be making his debut as a vice captain.
Bidder pays $50,000 to caddie for Woods
Someone has paid $50,000 to caddie for Tiger Woods at this year’s Hero World Challenge.
An unnamed bidder paid for the opportunity at an auction Saturday night at Tiger Jam, where monies are raised to support the Tiger Woods Foundation.
"Joe, take the day off." @TGRFound supporter to caddie for Woods Wednesday at #HeroWorldChallenge for $50,000 donation in the #TigerJam live auction. - TGRhttps://t.co/EjoJ2bpRh4 pic.twitter.com/yu2MY2dUGV— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) May 21, 2018
The Hero World Challenge will be contested Nov. 29-Dec. in Albany, Bahamas. The pro-am is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 28.