YES Virginia, there is a Tiger Woods.
Showing just how close Australian Senior Golfer is with the Tiger Woods camp, our report yesterday suggesting the World No 1 wouldn’t be showing up for the 2010 JBWere Masters in Melbourne turns out to be entirely erroneous.
Media announcements yesterday about tickets going on sale from today seemed to studiously avoid mentioning the man.
We were even worried how the poor scalpers – warned off by the Victorian Government and threatened with big fines – were going to make a buck in the let down over a Tigerless event.
Sergio Garcia and Camilo Villegas were touted just 24 hours ago to be the big international stars joining headline Australian act Geoff Ogilvy.
Surprise, surprise, as tickets go on sale today it is announced Woods will return to Melbourne to defend his title.
I think that is called media management. And we fell for it. (Must be getting old).
But to set the record straight – and to steal a line from a new very annoying television commercial – that’s not good news. It’s GREAT.
As the organisers of the event say in their release today, the Tiger Woods led JBWere Masters event last year set a new benchmark for Australian golf with record crowds and television audiences and delivered in excess of $34 million to the Victorian economy.
Everyone I spoke to who managed to attend the event last year were stoked. No complaints about overcrowding or overstretched facilities.
The only complaints were from Channel Nine viewers who, as Woods hit off on the Thursday morning were greeted with the Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s morning show. Even Kerri-Anne would have rather been watching the golf.
Let’s hope they get that right for the sake of all the television viewers this time. And I know there are lots of messy local broadcasting provisions involved.
On his forthcoming trip to Australia, Tiger Woods commented: “I am pleased to be able to return to Melbourne to defend the JBWere Masters. The Australian galleries made last year’s event a great experience for all the players and I look forward to playing at The Victoria Golf Club in November.”
The 2010 JBWere Masters will again be broadcast on Channel Nine and FOX SPORTS (at least in part) and will be played at The Victoria Golf Club from 11 – 14 November. Tickets from Ticketek.