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Golf to survive without Tiger

2009-12-17 21:16

Chicago - The head of the US professional golf tour on Thursday applauded Tiger Woods' decision to take a break from the game while he deals with a sex scandal, but said golf and the tour will do "quite well" financially without him.

"We lost Tiger in 2008 for most of the year when he was out with an injury. We move forward," PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem told CNBC in his first interview since the scandal engulfing the world's No. 1 golfer came to light.

Woods, 33, last week admitted to infidelity in his marriage to his Swedish wife Elin Nordegren as allegations of multiple extra-marital affairs rocked his life and career.

The golf icon, who is believed to be the world's wealthiest sports figure, said he would take an indefinite break from pro golf to try to save his marriage.

"I don't know what that time frame is and frankly I'm not concerned about that," Finchem said. He added he had no idea when Woods would return, saying it could be weeks, months or an "extended period of time."

Woods' popularity has plummeted over the last two weeks as a parade of up to 13 women, including at least one porn star, came forward to say they had had flings with the married father of two. The allegations emerged after Woods was involved in a minor car accident at his Florida home.

Finchem said he had not spoken to Woods since the scandal broke.

"Everything about this story with Tiger has included a fair amount of hyperbole and on the business side of the equation that's certainly been the case," Finchem said.

"Without Tiger for a period of time, we will perform quite well," he added.

Nevertheless, when Woods was recovering from leg surgery over eight months last year and early this year, TV ratings for golf tournaments without Woods fell almost 50 percent and attendance suffered.

Recent polls by USA Today/Gallup and Washington Post-ABC News show Woods' favourable ratings plummeting, which has led some sponsors to distance themselves from him.

Woods was estimated to earn about $100m a year in endorsement deals before his unwelcome troubles. However, on Sunday, Accenture Plc said it was ending its six-year sponsorship deal with the golfing icon, the world's first billionaire athlete.

Procter & Gamble's Gillette has said it will limit the use of Woods in its marketing and AT&T Inc and Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer, a unit of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, have said they are evaluating their relationships with Woods.

On the other hand, Nike Inc, Berkshire Hathaway's NetJets unit and Upper Deck have recently said they have no plans to end their deals.

Reuters

Comments
  • Cheetah - 2009-12-18 06:44

    Tiger, Tiger, man , leave that thing you call a wife to go. Why waste time and a chance to make yourself even richer following this person around. In case you have forgotten, Elin is or was a model. Need I tell you what models do? They would chase anything that has a trouser on and this gold-digger Elin wife of yours is no different. My plea to you, dont give in to wimps like these and the golfing world will like nothing other than you leaving golf, cos so far, there is no sure way of beating you. Dust yourself this shakeup and pick up the pieces, well if you ask me, there'snot a lot to pick up, you are still in one piece, go make yourself some money cos this thing will claim much of what is there in your kitty. There's still another 20 yeras of golfing in you, another 20 years of making billions. There are so many women who are 20 times better off than that stick you call a wife, no wonder yuou had to stary, cos she does not live up to being a good wife in bed. A good wife will keep her man, ask Pastor khathide, a wife should give it to you all the time without asking questions nor making excuses everytime you want it. My advise is, divorce this lady and give her what she wants, that's the reason she married you in the first place, to milk you and now she feels its opportune time to make a dash for it. You will still make more money that what she would have taken, she cannot shake you buddy. But like Al Sharpton, I am disappointed that you didn't take black mistresses in your escapades, do you hate your own so much? Why this obsession with whites? nXX

  • PETER - 2009-12-18 07:48

    He cheats on his wife. His docter was arrested for smuggling HGH and other illegal substances. He looks like a bodybuilder. He is losing his hair. Chances are good that he was using HGH over a long period of time. (Cheat2)

  • Johann Coetzee - 2009-12-18 08:13

    Once again if your willing to take a risk, stick with tiger. Americans love a comeback and giving celebrities second changes. My money is on NIke INc, Berkshire Hathaway etc. for sticking with their man. All the other sponsors are gonna end up with their heads buried in the sand once his back and better then ever. How much is it gonna cost you then, does Kate Moss not ring bells.

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