SBD/2/Sports Media

TIGERIFFIC: SKINS GAME BENEFITS FROM THE EYE OF THE TIGER

          Tiger Woods "enjoyed" his first "foray into the made-
     for-television Skins Game" this weekend, and "there is
     little doubt he will be invited back," according to Jeff
     Babineau of the ORLANDO SENTINEL.  Babineau: "The game was
     all the better for his appearance."  Saturday's projected
     overnights: an 8.2 rating/19 share for ABC, and only once
     since '83 -- the final round of the '95 Masters, which
     earned a 9.8 -- have "so many people tuned in to watch golf
     on any given day."  Tom Watson, on Woods playing in this
     year's Skins Game: "The ratings show that the golfing world
     wanted to see this" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 12/2).  The 8.2
     rating 74% up from '95 (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 12/2).
          IN THE WOODS: In New York, Larry Dorman writes that the
     "novelty had worn off, the interest had waned and the
     ratings were headed somewhere south of Baja" for the Skins
     Game.  But this year the contest was "resuscitated by that
     one-man traveling salvation show, Tiger Woods" (N.Y. TIMES,
     11/30).  ABC Skins Game commentator and two-time Skins Game
     winner Curtis Strange: "Tiger was invited because of his
     popularity.  He has an incredible record, but he's in the
     Skins Game because of the ratings game.  That is a hell of a
     compliment" (USA TODAY, 11/29).  Woods, on joining the PGA
     Tour: "The only thing that surprised me is the media focus
     that I've had, it's been so intense.  The cameras and just
     people, people in general I think have taken a real grasp to
     this 'Tigermania' kind of stuff and it's been kind of
     difficult off the golf course to handle at times, especially
     when I go out to dinner with my family and friends." ("The
     Skins Game," ABC, 12/1).
          COVER BOY: Woods is the subject of this week's cover
     story in NEWSWEEK, called "How to Raise a Tiger."  The
     feature is based on interviews with Woods, his family and 
     friends.  According to his father, Earl Woods, whose book,
     "Training a Tiger" will be published next Father's Day by
     HarperCollins, he and his wife have been "training Tiger to
     take his place in society since he was born."  Earl Woods:
     "Every move has been calculated to make him the best person
     he can be" (McCormick & Begley, NEWSWEEK, 12/9 issue). 
          A TIGRESS? Nike spokesperson John Martin, on the
     company's interest in two-time U.S. Women's Amateur champ
     Kellie Kuehne: "It's no secret that we've been seeking an
     LPGA player.  She's young, energetic and if you look at our
     last signing, that's the kind of player we are looking for"
     (AP/Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 12/1).

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