Tiger Woods, champion golf player and champion club, casino and woman player, is coming back to Melbourne for this year’s Australian Masters. Tiger's form may be down on the golf course and with the ladies, but the Aussie Victorian government have fallen head over heels for the Tiger - Meister. Victorian taxpayers will e covering part of his appearance fee, but won't know how much they’re paying for the privilege, as its a secret. James Packer owned Crown Casino is understood to be in the running to provide the den - accommodation and ("world of") entertainment for the Tiger. Media Man and Gambling911 take the club to Team Tiger with this special report...
Tiger Mania will be running wild "down under", pun intended. Victorian Tourism Minister Holding said revealing the figure would give interstate governments and other locations the chance to match or exceed the bid and lure the star from Victoria.
Going on radio (3AW), the tourism minister said "Tiger’s fee won’t be made public. We work very hard to secure these events and we don’t want to bid the price up by disclosing the exact amounts."
Gambling911 and Media Man management understands Tiger commands a $3 million appearance fee. It was widely reported the Victorian government paid $1.5 million of the golfer’s fee last year, despite Mr Holding saying today the exact amount would not be made public.
The tournament prize money last year was a moderate $270,000.
He said the expense was "infinitesimal" compared to the economic benefit which flowed the Woods’ appearance, with audited figures showing his performance at last year’s Australian Masters earned the state $34 million, exceeding forecasts by more $15 million.
Crown Casino is understood to have pocked about 10 million from Tiger's fun and games trip down under last year. A swag of golf nut tourists who also enjoyed a punt at Packer's casino were significantly responsible for the windfall.
The Aussie Tourism Minister continues re Tiger's appearance fee "That's more than repays the modest investment," said Holding.
Holding also advised the money paid to Woods is a better investment than the $50 million Victorian taxpayers contribute to the Formula One Grand Prix, and that's including the Mark Webber - Red Bull Racing into the equations, not to mention Sir Richard Branson and his Virgin Racing.
Woody, still holds the title of world’s #1 golfer despite five months out of the game following his high profile sex scandal. Tiger is to join Sergio Garcia of Spain, Camilo Villegas of Colombia and Australia’s Geoff Ogilvy for the tournament at The Victoria Golf Club from 11th-14th November.
"I am pleased to be able to return to Melbourne to defend the JBWere Masters," Woods advised via his official website last night.
"The Australian galleries made last year’s event a great experience for all the players and I look forward to playing at The Victoria Golf Club in November".
Woods did enjoy a strong crown and management reception when he jetted in for last year’s Australian Masters at Kingston Heath, with more than 100,000 fans attending the four-day, sold-out event.
While he was lapped up (pun intended) by fans, fellows golfers and Premier John Brumby during his virgin visit, it was a mixed experience for the 34-year-old Tiger, as "down under" in Melbourne was also where his troubles began.
When Woody returned to the US reports emerged of a rendezvous in Melbourne with New York nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel, understood to have occurred at Packer's Crown Casino chain.
The revelation led to a string of women coming forward with claims of sexual relationships with the 14-time major winner and the eventual breakdown of his marriage.
Media Man team members, bookies and punters have been recently overheard discussing if Tiger is able to pull off a "hole in one" down in Melbourne, or a "hole in 2, 3, 4 or more".
Does Tiger still have what it takes to execute stunning "holes in one" or even "birdies".
Whatever the case, Melbourne get ready, Tiger Mania is set to kick into full swing when he comes back "down under".
Crown Casino is understood to be super keen to look after Tiger's digs for the trip. The casino's security and service is world class, something Woods and Hollywood power couple, Tom Cruise (Top Gun, Mission: Impossible) and Katie Holmes (Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark) can vouch for. Virgin's Richard Branson is also understood to be a big Packer and Crown fan, spotted with 'Our James' last season, and all of the above share a strong passion for the entertainment, sports and tourism industry.
Crown Limited (CWN) share price: 7.960
*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911
*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a bakers dozen of sectors they cover. Media Man also publishers Australian Sports Entertainment
*The writer owns shares in Crown Casino