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Monday, November 29, 2010

ANY IDEA WHO SAID THIS? “A couple of World Ranking points, a couple of dollars. No, probably wasn't the best of timing.”

ON THIS DAY: In 1992, Payne Stewart won the Skins Game for the second consecutive year.

TOO BIG TO FAIL: A year after one its products (Escalade) was involved in a bizarre story for golf, the company is returning to the sport again. Despite assistance from Washington to bolster its balance sheet (thank you tax payers) and its home state of Michigan on tough times, General Motors’ Cadillac division will sponsor the World Golf Championship in Doral, Fla. GM stepped away from the golf business in 2009 when Buick ended more than 50 years of PGA TOUR sponsorship. The move came just as GM exited bankruptcy protection. Buick also ended a nine-year endorsement deal with Tiger Woods in 2008.

But that was then and this is now, as the automaker has become the title sponsor of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. In 2011, the tournament will be played at TPC Blue Monster, Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Doral, FL. “The World Golf Championships are all about the highest level of performance on a global stage and fit well with Cadillac's theme as the New Standard of the World,” stated Don Butler, Vice President for Cadillac Marketing. “As a global series, it provides us with an ideal marketing partnership for Cadillac to efficiently and effectively reach our target audience. We could not think of a more fitting way to bring golf back to Cadillac."

There are discussions also underway with the car company to bring the PGA Tour back to Michigan, thus implying that GM may have more money to spend on the game.

FULL SLATE: Tough times haven’t stopped the European Tour from adding three new events to its 2011 schedule. The Volvo Golf Champions at the Royal Golf Club, Bahrain; the Sicilian Open; and the Iskandar Johor Open. In total it has 50 events on its calendar. “The tour’s business is geographically and culturally very diverse,” stated Keith Waters, the European Tour’s chief operating officer and director of international policy. READ MORE>>>

MORE OF THE SAME: There was a time, not that long ago, when someone experienced the next level of success on Tour they would leverage that into a new equipment deal. Perhaps since players compete for an overabundance of money on a weekly basis and there truly isn’t any off-season throughout the year, the economics isn’t nearly as alluring as it once was. Case in point, the reigning British Open Champion has decided to stay with what has made him successful. The 28-year-old Louis Oosthuizen, who makes his home at Pinnacle Point in South Africa and soon will be a full fledged member of the PGA TOUR in 2011, has signed a multi-year agreement after winning his first major to continue playing PING golf equipment. "Ping's equipment allows me to get the most from my game and reach my potential," he said. "And on Tour they're always right there when I need them. They understand my game and give me a comfort level so I can go out and play with confidence."

John A. Solheim, Chairman and CEO of PING stated, "Louis' achievement at St. Andrews made everyone at Ping very proud. He's been with Ping his entire pro career and we've watched him become a truly world-class player. We are pleased to continue our long-standing relationship with him."

THE BEST IS YET TO COME? Wilson Golf has re-signed Ricky Barnes to a three-year contract. “I’m excited about my partnership with Wilson Golf, a company that has such a rich golf championship history and heritage,” said Barnes. “I’ve played great golf since switching to the Wilson Staff FG Tour irons, and my confidence has translated into success on the course. With a great R&D team working with me, I’m looking forward to achieving even greater success in the years ahead on the PGA TOUR.”

Barnes finished ranked 16th on the TOUR in Top Ten finishes with six, and was eighth in birdies (372). His best finishes include a T3 at The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village and two T5s at the Verizon Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links and the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands.

“Wilson Golf is proud to continue its relationship with Ricky Barnes,” said Tim Clarke, general manager of Wilson Golf. “Ricky’s style of play and on-course demeanor couldn’t be a better match for the Wilson brand. He’s working hard, having fun and playing great. In fact, his play has truly connected with the younger, serious golfer and helped that player connect with our legacy of performance.”

LOOKING TO MAKE SOME NOISE: TaylorMade Golf Company announced all of its brands – TaylorMade, adidas Golf and Ashworth – are returning to exhibit at the 58th PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, January 27-29, 2011.

Each brand is planning a range of exciting activities to take place throughout the week, including the launch of a variety of industry-changing products at the Outdoor Demo Day and within exhibit and demonstration areas on the Show Floor.

"There was a time when golf companies launched their newest and most exciting products at the PGA Show in Orlando," said Mark King, president and CEO. "That's exactly what our plans are this year. We've got a variety of industry-changing products that we'll be unveiling in a big, big way, which is why we'd like to alert attendees, including PGA Professionals, buyers and media, and all else who will be there to please make time to visit us at the demo day and at our booth in the convention center."


LADY LUCK: At the end of a dramatic European Tour season, at the end of one of the richest events in golf, it all came down to a coin toss for Ian Poulter, whose inadvertent dropping of his ball on the green at the second play-off hole cost him his chance to win the Dubai World Championship. READ MORE>>>

STEEP ROAD TO CLIMB: The decline and fall of "brand Tiger Woods" is a story best told not by the supermarket tabloids, golf’s world rankings or this month's relaunch' of a career and an image so brutally damaged by personal scandal, but by a journey, along the Emirates Road to the south of Dubai and then left and down an unmarked road.

Drive for a mile over the speed bumps, past an abandoned security hut, until Tarmac becomes gravel and then another mile until the gravel becomes sand, and there it is: The Tiger Woods Dubai. The first golf course in world designed by the man many consider, or at least considered, the greatest ever to play the game. READ MORE>>>

LONG SHOTS CAN PAY OFF: While some golfers in Venezuela see a dim future, Jhonattan Vegas sees an opportunity. Vegas has become the first Venezuelan to earn a PGA Tour card at the same time that golf is under assault in his country with President Hugo Chavez calling it a pastime of the rich and threatening to seize elite clubs to make way for public housing. Chavez's government already has shut down some courses, including the one where Vegas' father was the groundskeeper and first introduced his son to the game. "One of the things I hope to do for the country is take the sport to the people, and to have people get to know golf a lot better," Vegas said in an interview with The Associated Press. Venezuela "hasn't done anything at all to create a system in which any kid off the street can come and hit golf balls," he said. "Maybe we'll see if we change that paradigm from now on." READ MORE>>>

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BEFORE WE GO: If you feel like you may have missed something from a back issue feel free to check out the archive section of the Daily Pulse, which includes an easy to use word search!

ANSWER: Ian Poulter about his ball slipping out of hand, that landed on and moved his coin, which lead to a penalty shot in a playoff yesterday against Robert Karlsson in the season-ending Dubai World Championship.