Ernie Els has lost his top spot on the PGA Tour’s money list, and he’s dropped one spot on the world golf rankings.
The good news for South Africa is that Lee-Anne Pace has entrenched her position atop the Ladies European Tour order of merit with another victory.
Golfer Tiger Woods is the world’s top-earning sportsman, according to Forbes.
He is said to have earned $64-million from endorsements last year, most of it before his sexcapades became public knowledge. Although he was dumped by a couple of sponsors after that, his income would have to drop substantially before he gets pipped.
The next highest earners were soccer star David Beckham ($18-million), tennis player Roger Federer ($16-million), Nascar driver Dale Earnhardt ($14-million) and then basketball stars LeBron James ($13-million) and Kobe Bryant ($12-million).
The richest team brand is English soccer club Manchester United, which has a value estimated at $270-million. They edged out the New York Yankees baseball team, apparently worth $266-million.
If there’s one person who must surely be happy with these stats, it’ll be Woods’s wife Elin. Should she get divorced, she could become the world’s richest sports-earner without having ever played sport.
Hotel guests at Sun City were given letters by management on Thursday night apologising in advance for any inconveniences caused by the looming Saccawu strike, but they promised that life would go on here with as little disruption as possible.
There certainly appeared to be no obvious shortage of workers here on Friday, and it’s unlikely anyone would notice if there were to be a full-blown strike here.
For several years I have been disappointed by the poor standard of service at Sun City – I don’t think industrial action would make it worse.
One lady told me this morning that her room was not cleaned yesterday (mine was, by the way) and then at midnight a staff member walk into her room without knocking! It turns out the reception desk thought the room was unoccupied – even though she had been there two nights already.
Maybe guests need to go on strike against this type of poor service!
On the flip side, however, I must say that the two golf courses here – the Gary Player Country Club layout where the Nedbank Challenge is being staged, and the Lost City course – are both world class and are worth a round or two (or three) for all golf enthusiasts.
To play here, the poor service is worth every penny.
Golfers are not the only ones at Sun City this week – the Miss World contestants are here too.
I spotted them at lunch on Wednesday, and had to queue behind them for the self-service buffet. By the time I got there, they had polished off the rice and the spinach!
There was no shortage of meat dishes and desserts, however.
Hugh Grant reportedly says he is single because he is suffering an addiction – to golf.
“I’m obsessed and it’s destroying my life. Golf is an addiction,” he was quoted as saying by Bang Showbiz.
“I’ll get out of bed in the middle of the night and practice my swing in front of the mirror.”
Grant explained it was difficult to find a love partner. “When you say to a girl ‘I play golf’ her eyes glaze over”. I do feel guilty about my golf. You know you’re a sad case when you spend your spare time reading books on putting or going on YouTube to watch slow motion golf swings.”
This may sound strange, but I would argue that golf addiction is a real “affliction”. I know a guy who nearly lost his job because he would sneak off during the day to play golf (he told me this during a round of golf, by the way).
Sandra Gal, the six-foot German stunner who plays on the LPGA tour, will tee it up at the Gary Player Invitational at Fancourt from November 26-29.
Not only is she a babe and able to play good golf, she also has brains. According to one website Gal studied advertising at the University of Florida before leaving one year early, although she plans to return at some point to finish her degree.
As part of President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan in the US to combat the global recession, the taxman is helping people buy golf carts there!!!
I can tell you now that the moment Uncle Sam offers rebates for golf lessons, I’m going to apply for a green card.
You can read the full Wall Street Journal story here.
A great perk for golf writers is the occasional invitation to play on a wonderful course.
Every year Sun International invite us to play the Final Round at the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City – the last round before it is closed for nearly a month while being prepared for the Nedbank Golf Challenge (formerly Million Dollar).
I have attended most years since 2001, and I have never ever ever broken 100. Hell, I don’t think I’ve managed more than 20 Stableford points!
That course has been my master on each occasion, but this time, come November 9, I’m determined to play 18 holes without exceeding double digits.
The reason for my optimism is that my game has improved dramatically in the past year.
But I know the real test will come once I’ve stepped onto the course … Yikes!