Super Bowl in Detroit was once seen as a carrot to the Big Three automakers and
the seemingly bottomless well of sponsorship money they represented, but tough
times have hit the Motor City, and the cash is drying up. Ford, which has
already said it will end its relationship with the Tour event at Doral as of
2007, will also reportedly discontinue its sponsorship of Phil Mickelson after
that tournament. The swoon doesn't seem to be affecting Buick though, which
pays Tiger Woods a reported $8 million a year, more than the salary of GM CEO
Rick Wagoner. "We're looking forward to continuing [to sponsor Tiger] for a
long time to come," says a Buick spokesman.... The Buick Invitational was
Woods's 47th victory in 186 starts--a 25.3 winning percentage--and only the
second time he triumphed while making 12 bogeys in a week (the other: the 2005
Masters). Woods improved his playoff record to 9-1.
European tour started tallying Ryder Cup points at September's Omega European
Masters, Henrik Stenson of Sweden has five top three finishes in eight starts,
including a win at last week's Qatar Masters. The run of good play has made him
a virtual lock to play in his first Ryder Cup. His countryman Jesper Parnevik
probably won't be joining him because he does not play enough on the European
tour. "I don't think you'll see [Euro captain Ian Woosnam] get too creative
with the captain's picks," Parnevik says. "I hear the [European] tour
has asked him to go right down the [points] list."
? John Daly's
merchandise trailer was stolen from a Hooters parking lot in Phoenix last
Saturday. The $70,000 trailer had $50,000 worth of goods inside but was found
undisturbed later that morning. ? Hale Irwin failed in his bid to win his sixth
straight Turtle Bay Championship, but the $7,500 he collected for 38th place
brought his total career earnings in Hawaii to $3,893,475. ? Laura Diaz gave
birth to a son, Robert Cooper, on Jan. 16. It's the first child for her and
husband Kevin. ? Mark O'Meara has bought a lot at the Tradition in Palm
Springs, Calif., and put his Isleworth home up for sale.
? For PGA
Merchandise Show coverage, go to SI.com/Golf.