Truth & Rumors: Tiger reportedly paid $55.4 million for Dubai project

When Tiger Woods travels to Dubai, it's about more than winning a golf tournament -- it's business time. In addition to receiving multi-million dollar appearance fees for competing in the desert, Woods also spearheaded a (stalled) Dubai golf project. Terms of that deal, struck in 2008, were never made public, but Arabian Business Magazine has a new report on the numbers, and they are staggering:

Tiger Woods received $55.4m from UAE developer Tatweer to promote a golf resort in Dubai, just 24 days before the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.
Documents seen by Arabian Business reveal that Woods was originally paid $26,250,000 to promote the Tiger Woods Dubai resort, following a contract first signed on 20 June 2006.
However, on 22 August 2008, both Woods and Tatweer signed an “Amendment to Golf Course Design and License Agreement” which contained 15 new clauses.
On top of the $26,250,000 already paid to Woods' company ETW (Eldrick Tiger Woods), the new deal stated that ETW would be paid "the sum of $70m as a promotional fee".
The document broke down the extra payments as:
* $26,166,177 would be paid to ETW within ten days of the agreement being signed.
* $14,583,333 would be paid to ETW within ten days of Woods appearing at the official opening of Tiger Woods Dubai.
In addition, the new deal stated that Woods would no longer receive a villa on the resort, but “the Parties hereto agree to keep confidential the fact that ETW has agreed to waive its right to receive the Chosen Development Unit.”
In total, the potential value of the new deal was worth $98.8m to Woods – more than the $92.2m he had earned in prize money up to 2008.
Not sure what's more shocking: the cash Woods raked in from this project, or the fact that he wasn't able to get himself a free condo in the deal. Phone-A-Finchem Earlier this week, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said his Tour would continue to accept phone calls from fans who spot rules violations during telecasts. Is it right to allow outside viewers the chance to affect the outcome of a professional sporting event? Our Sports Illustrated Golf Group has debated this very topic, and today the Bleacher Report's Paddy Miller voices his distaste for Finchem's decision while wondering if the commish might take things a step further by allowing on-air TV announcers to report violations.
Golf has always celebrated itself as a gentleman’s sport where players—if they were to commit an infraction—would openly call penalties on themselves, not relying on referees or umpires to do so. While touring professionals have the luxury of rules officials in every group, the burden still falls upon the playing group to enforce the regulations of the game.
Wouldn't Finchem be more inclined to defend the institution of Golf as opposed to turning tournament officiating over to the masses?
Which raises the next question, would golf officials call penalties on players that are sighted by the announcers or on-course reporters?
Would Ed Hochuli throw a flag three plays later after John Gruden suggests he might have missed a call?
Would Joe West change a strike to a ball if Tim McCarver finally gets around to the point two days later that the pitch was outside? ...
Finchem, who has ignored the majority in the past (see: caddies wearing shorts), is trailing a similar path this time around and now jeopardizes what has made the game a sacred ritual of competition since the days of Old Tom Morris.
What do you think about Finchem's decision to allow fans to phone in rules infractions? Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Pebble Beach Pro-Am Greens Not 'Am' Friendly How firm are Pebble's greens this week? Stuart Appleby and his caddie demonstrate. (via Twitter)

Tweet of the Day Dan_bigger @danjenkinsgd: Memo to myself: If Mark Wilson is going to be the next Ben Hogan, I guess I'd better get to know him.

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by Kevin Cunningham