Thursday, April 14, 2005

Tiger Woods wins 4th Masters!

You just know I was glued to the tube this past Sunday, watching Tiger Woods and Chris DiMarco battling it out for the first major PGA tournament of the year, the 2005 Masters, from Augusta, Georgia.

Here's how they matched up

Thursday April 7, 2005
DiMarco 67
Woods 74





Saturday ended up being a huge day for Tiger, as he bested DiMarco by three strokes after trailing the previous day by six!

Chris DiMarco is quite simply, a golfer to watch. He outplayed Tiger on Sunday, during regulation play. Time after time, he would drop the ball on the green and have it show up closer to the hole than Tiger.

But, Tiger Woods, under danger of losing the tournament on the 16th hole, ended up giving us one of the most memorable shots in televised golf history. He initially looked like he hit the ball too hard as it quikly flew onto the green, surely to go skidding past the point of a necessary right-hand turn to be gravity fed into the hole. But, the green magically grabbed the ball, slowing it down just enough to bring it to that special spot that every golfer knows about. It almost came to a stop and then turned right, and headed straight for the hole. But, as in any good golf movie, it stopped right at the lip of the hole, with no one knowing but everyone hoping, that it would just fall in. Two second later, it fell in. Woods had already begun his celebratory walk, sneaking up on the ball, when it was just a foot away from the hole. The end result is an astonishing marketing moment for Nike, of course, capped off by the fact that when the ball sat on the lip, the Nike swoosh logo was prominently displayed.

How Tiger chipped in at the 16th

Tiger was off the green, 40ft from the hole, tight up against a nasty fringe and facing a wicked left-to-right slope. Showing supreme touch, he aimed 15 foot to the left of the pin, and watched as the slope gently brought the ball back to teeter on the edge of the cup before finally dropping.

In mid-May, Nike Golf will introduce the Nike One Platinum, the first ball designed to maximize play with today's larger head drivers by promoting a higher trajectory and a lower spin rate.

Woods has quietly been playing a prototype One Platinum since the debut of the 2005 PGA Tour at the Mercedes Championships. He continued his winning ways from the November switch to the 460cc Nike Ignite driver, but since January the One Platinum has helped him elevate his game even higher. In his six events this year he is averaging 305 yards off the tee, which ranks him 3rd, and his 407-yard bomb at the Mercedes ranks as the 2nd longest on Tour.

Woods produces the shot of the day with a scintillating chip on the 16th that just sneaks in.

For Woods though, the One Platinum's responsiveness around the green is just as critical. A couple of the other reasons he green-lighted the One Platinum project to go to production are his 74.1 percent average in Greens in Regulation, which ranks 3rd, and his 69.16 scoring, ranked 2nd this year.

Nike first paired itself with Woods back in 1996. He signed a five-year endorsement deal with the company in 2000 for a reported $100million, and has become such a major part of the company’s endorsement stable - one stocked with superstars - that he has a building named after him at Nike’s headquarters campus in Beaverton, a suburb of Portland.

But it is Nike that has arguably received the most marketing mileage out of the tournament. It is estimated that the company already had received more than $1million in free advertising after the shot was shown the 60th time somewhere on a TV news broadcast.

Tiger with wife Elin Nordegren.

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