Waldo's where?!?!And so the center of the golfing universe moves to Hattiesburg, Miss. The New York Daily News claims to
have confirmed that Tiger Woods is, indeed, undergoing treatment for sex
addiction at the Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services there.
Which means you should consider yourself lucky not to be part of a circus
parade of gossip journalists and paparazzi undoubtedly descending on the area,
which was previously best known for being adjacent to a pair of nuclear device
detonations in the 1960s plus assorted civil rights unrest. Nicknamed the Hub
City, Hattiesburg was built as a lumber and rail center and named after a
founding lumberman's wife.
Oh, right. That brings us back to Woods and the golf story that won't go away.
Here's what you need to know about sex addiction, according to journalist
Benoit Denizet-Lewis in The Daily News: "We mock or it we say it's not a real
addiction. But it's very much the real deal. He's not going to be allowed to go
out and golf in the morning. He'll do like everyone else--get up early, eat the
same food and go through the same emotions... It's a really intense experience.
People tend to come in and be pretty freaked out. You arrive, and suddenly it
hits you, My God, I'm going to rehab for sex addiction." The woodsy,
fenced-in Mississippi clinic, which would not confirm Woods' arrival, is considered among the best at
setting sex addicts straight, Denizet-Lewis said. He added that no one should hold
onto the "glib perception" that entering rehab for sex addiction is akin to
landing a prize invite to an orgy. "Trust me, you're not going to score a
lot in sex rehab," he said. If
Woods really is holed up in Hattiesburg, the carnival atmosphere there should
quickly build.Farmers to the rescue at Torrey PinesMonday's
big news was that the PGA Tour finally found a sponsor, any sponsor, for its
tournament at Torrey Pines next week. Next week?
talk about the 11th hour..." Rick George, PGA Tour official, joked to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
sponsor is Farmers Insurance and while there are plenty of farms in Southern
California, there aren't many in heavily settled La Jolla, Calif., site of the
tourney and home to high-end retailers and luxury houses. But a sponsor is a
sponsor. Nobody complained when Wickes, a low-rent home furnishings company,
sponsored this event in the 1970s.
Farmers Insurance sponsorship is, for now, a Band-Aid. It's a one-year deal,
although it's possible the company could agree to make it long term. At least
it gets the Tour off the hook for most of the $5.3 million purse.
what else Todd Leonard reported for The San Diego Union-Tribune: "I think, psychologically, this is huge,"
said Century Club Chairman Tom Wornham. "We were able to do this with the Tour's help, and it makes it so much easier on everybody. And when you can get
somebody like Farmers, a world-class brand, it does wonders for the entire
organization and the entire tournament going forward. There's an emotional high
that comes with this, after a very, very long journey." Farmers Insurance has not sponsored a PGA
Tour event, but its parent company, Zurich
Financial Services, has been the title sponsor of the tournament in New Orleans since 2005.
In a news release
issued by the Tour, Farmers' CEO Robert Woudstra said, "We take great pride in
having been the first insurance company on the ground and at the scene in helping
the San Diego area rebuild following these wildfires. Farmers continues to
actively support fire safety programs for the citizens of San Diego. Like what
Zurich Financial Services does in New Orleans, supporting and sponsoring this
PGA Tour tournament in 2010 is an extension of our corporate outreach and
commitment in continuing to make a difference in Southern California
and across the United States. We look forward to helping the Century Club
through our Farmers Insurance Open sponsorship."
it appears that Wornham won't get one wish. Here's what he told Leonard in a Nov. 13 story in The Union-Tribune on the quest for a sponsor: "It's
sort of like being a yoga instructor with Tourette's," Wornham said. "You're
expecting a different outcome and — boom — you move on… I fully hope and
anticipate Tiger will be here. I can't see anything that would keep him away
from San Diego. For a course he's invested so much in, and a tournament he's
invested so much in, I would hope he would come help us in a time for need, and
I think he will." Well,
they've got a temporary sponsor. One out of two isn't bad.Happy days for Champions Tour A
cynic might say that after opening with a team event in which Tom Watson and
Jack Nicklaus were the winners, it's all downhill from here for the Champions
Tour. But there are no cynics in
golf writing (no comment) and besides, hasn't the Champions Tour taken enough
hits already? The
Sports Business Journal reports that the Champions Tour appears to be in for a
good year. It's got 26 events—one more than last year—and an additional $1.7
million in prize money, for a total of $51.5 million. There's a new tournament
in Mississippi, another new one to be determined, and the tour's first event in
Asia, at a Jack Nicklaus course in South Korea. Another Asian event is likely
to be added in 2011. Six more tour events have contracts up for renewal after
this year: Champions
Tour president Mike Stevens said the tour is not dropping its prices on
extensions or new deals, but dropped its requirement for new tournaments to
have at least a $2 million purse. Industry sources said title sponsorships cost
$2 million to $4 million a year. Looking
to 2011 and beyond, Stevens expects to continue with 25 to 30 events with flat
purse levels and no further international growth.Bob Hope Classic could get soaked The
Bob Hope Classic is usually known for its spectacular weather in Palm Springs.
This week, it could be spectacularly bad. Larry Bohannon in The Desert Sun has
the grim forecast: The Bob Hope Classic won't
allow spectators onto its four golf courses Tuesday, but not because the golf
courses are too soggy from today's rains. Instead,
tournament director Mike Milthorpe said the tournament is concerned about the
condition of the dirt parking lot for the event at the corner of Jefferson
Street and Avenue 52. That lot is the main lot for all general parking for the
event, which officially begins Wednesday. To keep the parking lot in good shape
for more expected rains Wednesday and Thursday, the lot will be closed all day Tuesday.
Rain is expected to return to the desert Tuesday night and into Wednesday, with
harder rain predicted for Thursday. Who brings rain gear to Palm
Springs? If this is the start of a long surge of El Nino storms, the tour's
West Coast Swing could be a real slog.Some players still fly commercial What
do you do after you win the Sony Hawaiian Open? You celebrate and move on. Golfweek.com's Alex
Miceli gets a ringside seat, literally, with winner Ryan Palmer. How about this for access? HONOLULU –
After two weeks in the islands, I'm ready to get home. I usually grab a red-eye
flight out of Honolulu on Sunday night after the Sony Open. This time, the
flight went from Honolulu to L.A. Of course, with the Bob Hope Classic the next
week, there usually are players on the flight as well. This time, I saw Charles
Howell III and Carl Pettersson in the gate area. I usually try to steer clear
of players outside of the course. They want privacy, and I do as well. So it
wasn't until the plane started boarding that I saw Charles and Carl. Charles
was walking one of Pettersson's daughters on the plane. It turns out he needs
the practice; he just found out that his wife is going to have a daughter in
May.A great read from Miceli, who delivers the kind of inside story writers seldom get today in a world
where rich athletes travel in different circles from media types.