News, notes and nuggets from around the world of golf…
Woods and Agents
Well, the biggest mystery in golf was solved on Monday when Tiger Woods tweeted, “Staying with Mark Steinberg. Total confidence in him. Excited about the next stage in my professional life. Fond memories of Mark McCormack.”
Steinberg, Woods’ long-time agent, recently left IMG, the global management conglomerate created by McCormack, and speculation ensued as to whether he would be taking his biggest client. Woods has been represented by IMG since turning professional in 1996.
Steinberg now must decide if he will go it alone or connect with another agency. Expect the decision before June 30 and then see how long it takes to get a sponsor on Woods’ bag?
In an interview with CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell on Monday afternoon, Steinberg said Woods was still drawing corporate interest.
“There’s a lot of interest in him,” Steinberg said. “We just have to get him back on the golf course so that corporations that want to capitalize on him can do so.”
When asked if interest was about winning, Steinberg replied, “Winning is a component. Look at what LeBron [James] went through. Now he’s two wins away from [winning the NBA Championship and] erasing all that.”
Stricker World Number 4
Steve Stricker’s win at The Memorial last week jumped him to No. 4 in the Official World Golf Ranking, and made him the No. 1 American player. Stricker had gotten to world No. 2 when Tiger Woods was regularly roaming the PGA Tour fairways, but with Woods on the shelf, Stricker is now the Yankee to beat.
“The Europeans are playing some great golf, and they’re dominating the top spots, obviously, but we know who the top guys are. They’re just not on their games right now, I guess,” said Stricker on Sunday. “But I feel good about where I’m at. I feel good about what I’ve done here this week. It’s a good feather in my cap heading into the U.S. Open, and I’ve got next week off and looking forward to a couple days of rest and getting back at it, getting ready for the Open.”
Expect to see Stricker somewhere on the leaderboard at Congressional on Sunday.
Singh has played in 67 consecutive majors, Weir 48. Singh received an exemption last year, but decided not to go through sectional qualifying near Columbus, Ohio, on Monday. Weir, though, began his sectional qualifier 5-over thru five holes and effectively earned him a seat on the couch to watch next week’s U.S. Open.
It is unlikely that the USGA will relent and provide a special exemption to either major winner, thus ending their respective streaks.
Stuart Hall is editor of the Golf Press Association.