Finchem had planned to hold the '98 match in the U.S. and move it to one of the International countries in 2000. The Internationals were not keen on that timetable and said so on the final day of this year's competition. Finchem acquiesced and is now faced with trying to sell CBS on the idea of a tape-delayed broadcast from a foreign venue.
For Pete's Sake
Pete Jordan may have lost a one-hole playoff to Fred Funk at last week's rain-shortened B.C. Open in Endicott, N.Y., but he was a big winner nevertheless. Jordan earned $108,000 to go from 163rd to 97th on the money list, securing a Tour card for 1997 and proving that there is justice in golf.
A year ago Jordan was in danger of losing his card but couldn't do anything about it at the Las Vegas Invitational, the last tournament of the season, because Tour officials failed to notify him when a spot in the field opened up at the last minute. When Jordan, who was the next alternate and should have been called, tiled a protest, the Tour gave him two tournaments at the start of the '96 season to win $2,423 and earn his card. Jordan missed the cut at both the Nortel Open in Tucson and the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in Palm Springs, Calif., the latter by one stroke after a 41 on his final nine. "I was playing really well at the end of last year but not at the beginning of this year," he says. "There was more pressure in the Hope than in today's playoff."
Jordan, whose father died two months ago, didn't have a top-15 finish until the Buick Open in early August, and has played in only five events since. But something clicked in Endicott. He shot 67-64 to lead after 36 holes and tacked on a 66 on Saturday. He bogeyed the final hole, which turned out to be the difference between first and the playoff.
The Tiger Line
Wally Uihlein, the president of Titleist, is confident that the Tiger Woods sweepstakes is over. He only wishes that everyone else agreed. Ely Callaway reportedly has made Woods a $3 million offer to play the Great Big Bertha driver, and other club companies are said to be circling the Woods camp looking for a loophole in the multimillion-dollar oral agreement Titleist reached with Woods on the day he turned pro.
Hughes Norton, Woods's agent, says Uihlein need not worry. The three-year, $3 million deal is awaiting only the final approval of the lawyers on both sides. "Titleist is giving Tiger a wide berth to get into the product," Norton says. "It doesn't want to do anything to jeopardize his comfort level and his play. Tiger has free rein to create whatever model of clubs he wants and can also go back and forth and play Titleist or Cobra [both divisions of American Brands]."
Woods currently uses two clubs carrying the Titleist brand, a 15-degree three-wood and a Scotty Cameron putter, plus a nine-degree King Cobra driver. His bag is filled out with Mizuno irons and Cleveland wedges. All his clubs, even his driver, have steel X-100 shafts.
The Short Game