Garcia Wants Tiger BackThe pre-tournament buildup for this week's Abu Dhabi Championship has begun, and Sergio Garcia sounded more mature than ever as he gracefully walked the tightrope and talked about Tiger in a positive manner -- not that he has any inside information.
Garcia, who's been out seven weeks with a sore tendon in his right wrist, told the Associated Press:
"The best thing for Tiger at the moment is to get on the course and do what
he knows best. Only he knows when he is going to come back. I have got the feeling that it's going to be earlier that what everybody thinks.... I
think he (Woods) is very strong mentally and it's not like the break he
had for injury a couple of years back when he had the knee problem. If you can't walk you can't swing. It's different."
"There's nothing better than playing against the best. But there is always an upside and a downside. The downside when he is playing is that you know your chances of winning
are a little lower. The upside is that when you know you are
playing against him and you manage to beat him, it's always that much
sweeter to have beaten the best. So for the game, it is not good that
Tiger is out. We hope he gets back as soon as possible."
Elite U.S. soldiers lie exhausted on
tennis courts and beside a pool. Fifty thousand homeless people cram
the nine-hole golf course. Helicopters land every half an hour with
crates of water and food aid. ... Haiti is the most impoverished nation in the Western Hemisphere but
its elite came to the country club's elegant stone headquarters to dine
and mingle with foreign diplomats and businessmen. Now the club houses
commanders from the U.S. military's crack 82nd Airborne Division.
Down the lawns and beyond a loose military cordon, the golf course
is covered with tents, made from poles and sheets by people who flocked
onto the club's grounds after the earthquake brought down its perimeter
walls, as well as their homes. ...
Unlike chaotic scenes elsewhere, with refugees fighting and
scrambling for water and food, an orderly queue winds up the lawns of
the club. Each refugee is allowed two bottles of water and one Meal
Ready to Eat (MRE) ration."If they get unruly, we just sit down," said Captain John Hartsock. "It has only happened twice. They get the message. We don't want everyone going nuts, like the scene in 'Black Hawk Down' from Somalia."
out that all nine players who were given releases from the PGA Tour to
compete overseas this week have European Tour memberships
What brings the Hope's field so much attention is the absence of Kim, who
spent his high school years in the Coachella Valley and was given a
sponsor's exemption to play when he was a rookie with limited
opportunities. Kim is trying to manage a worldwide schedule. Skipping
what amounts to a hometown tournament is not going to win him
Rick George, the tour's chief of operations, said nine releases were
given opposite the Hope last year. He also noted the number of players
who stayed two weeks in Hawaii, which made the Sony Open stronger.
Others are adding Pebble Beach to the schedule this year with the U.S.
Open coming in June.
"I'd like to think it's just an anomaly," George said. "But that doesn't make it any better for the Bob Hope Classic."
Here's what Miguel Bustillo wrote
Nike says that its Victory Red STR8-FIT Tour fairway woods, which
will go on sale Jan. 28 for $299, were designed with input from all 13 U.S. golf stars who promote Nike's golf products. But the promotional materials make no mention of Mr. Woods, whose tradition of wearing red shirts on the final day of golf tournaments inspired the Victory Red name...Nike's inability to bank on Mr. Woods -- who remains a Nike-sponsored
athlete but is postponing his career as he deals with the fallout from
his alleged extramarital affairs -- comes at a problematic time. The
Beaverton, Ore., company has faced deteriorating golf sales because of
the recession. Annual revenue at the Nike Golf division fell 11% last
year to $648 million after peaking at $725 million the year before.Nike declined to discuss the effect of Mr. Woods's problems on its
business, where overall revenue grew 3% to $19.2 billion in fiscal
2009. But in a conference call with investors last month, Chief
Executive Mark Parker played down the ramifications, even as he acknowledged that larger economic factors were hurting golf sales."We feel very good about how we are managing our golf business
through this period and our position in the broader golf market," Mr.
Parker said, adding, "We'll continue to support Tiger and his family as
we, of course, look forward to his return."