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  • GEORGIA ON OUR MIND: WOODS ALL THE FOCUS AT AUGUSTA

              The Masters begins today at Augusta National and
         defending champion Tiger Woods is featured in USA TODAY in
         color photos on the front page of the news and sports
         section, as well as a special section on the event.  In each
         photo, Woods is sporting a Nike shirt and hat.  USA TODAY's
         Harry Blauvelt writes that one-year after his win at
         Augusta, Woods is "attracting kids and minorities to golf
         like the Pied Piper. ... Golf equipment sales [are] booming. 
         Marketing moguls love him" (USA TODAY, 4/9). 
              BRING THE GAME TO THE PEOPLE: Minority participation in
         golf, and the efforts of the World Golf Foundation's First
         Tee program, are examined in a front-page feature by Roger
         Thurow in the WALL STREET JOURNAL. In looking to increase
         access for minority youths, the program is "scouting out
         some decidedly un-Augusta sites as First Tee candidates,
         like derelict warehouse districts and abandoned land fills." 
         First Tee Dir Tod Leiweke said more than 700 communities in
         the U.S. have inquired about "getting in on the action"
         (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/9).  In USA TODAY, John Feinstein
         writes on First Tee and minority participation, saying that
         Woods is the "bridge" for exposing the game to new groups,
         but that he and the PGA Tour "need to keep working on the
         problem."  Feinstein: "Woods needs to be a visible spokesman
         more often for minority golf and less often for corporate
         America. ... The Tour should send other golfers, not just
         Woods and [Jim] Thorpe, into minority neighborhoods to beat
         the drum for golf" (USA TODAY, 4/9).  PGA Tour Commissioner
         Tim Finchem, on the game's future: "The real test for golf
         is how fast we can grow the game in the next 30 years.  And
         to grow the game we have to make it more accessible, more
         affordable to people" ("Up Close," 4/8).
              GM PROMO SHELVED: In Augusta, DeMao & Joyner write on
         the scarcity of tickets and badges for The Masters.  Team
         One Tickets is selling four-day tournament badges for
         $5,000-6,000; their face value is $100.  MasterCard and GM
         had joined on a marketing promo where customers who used the
         GM MasterCard between October and January were entered in a
         drawing and eligible to win Augusta tickets.  But GM, which
         has a "long-standing relations" with The Masters through 
         Cadillac, "canceled the top prize after company officials
         leaned the prize badges were 'obtained illegally'" by
         MasterCard.  GM offered the prize winner cash instead, but
         the figure was not revealed (AUGUSTA CHRONICLE, 4/9). 
              TRUE POWER: In L.A., Steve Eubanks examines the
         relationship between the media and the event, citing the
         "lap-dog treatment Augusta National and its members have
         always received from the media."  Frank Deford: "No sporting
         event in America, if indeed the whole world, has benefited
         from such a sweetheart press" (L.A. TIMES, 4/9).
    
    

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