That’s Greg Norman and Elin Woods, mind you. A couple days ago, Australia’s Daily Telegraph reported that the country’s highest-earning sportsman was closing his only office in Australia to “chase the Asian golfing dollar through China.” The paper continued, “[T]he design company has opened a new sales and marketing office in Beijing, China, signalling Asia […]

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What do you do after coaching Tiger? Head to China.

While Tiger Woods’ career appears to be headed south, Hank Haney — Tiger’s now former swing coach — looks to be headed east: Having the world’s No. 1 as a client magnified his profile dramatically. He has added the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy. The program prepares junior players for college scholarships with golf […]

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HSBC Champions: Golf still an elitist pursuit in China

This story originally appeared on ESPN.com.

washburnespngolf11122005-2.jpgby DAN WASHBURN

Sheshan International Golf Club, site of this week’s HSBC Champions tournament, is about an hour west of Shanghai — if you are lucky. The only way to get there from downtown is a start-and-stop ride along the Hu Ning “Expressway,” an overcrowded stretch of asphalt that cuts through a grim part of the city you won’t find mentioned in any tour book. Most spectators are bussed in and bussed out and never set foot outside the picturesque private grounds. And if you were part of that crowd on Thursday and Friday, it would be easy to draw this conclusion: China loves Tiger Woods.

In a nation of 1.3 billion, crowds are not hard to come by. But on a golf course? That’s something new in a country with only an estimated 200,000 people who play the sport, a country that didn’t have a golf course until 1984. The gallery following Woods for the tournament’s first two rounds easily topped 1,000. Some guessed it was closer to 2,000. That’s more than four times the number of fans who followed Ernie Els during the final round of the BMW Asian Open here in May.

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HSBC Champions: Tiger who?

This story originally appeared in the November 12, 2005 edition of the South China Morning Post (subscription only). by DAN WASHBURN While some 2,000 golf fans weathered rainstorms to track every move of the world’s best golfer Friday in the second round of the HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai, Yao Guang Mei swept leaves with […]

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