Tiger Woods hits drive from Europe to Asia (and no, that’s not an overstatement)
By Stephanie Wei under European PGA Tour
Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods about to hit a ball into Asia

Tiger Woods is playing in this week’s Turkish Airways Open, a European Tour “Finals” event, for a reported ~$2.4 million (1.5GBP). Part of the deal is getting involved in photographed stunts and sponsored outings, like hitting a ball from the famed Bosporous Bridge, which connects the west to the east. 

Chubby Chandler, head of ISM, which is the agency organizing the tournament, tweeted the above picture with the caption:

He also posted this:

The bridge was closed for an hour Tuesday afternoon for the photo shoot. I’m sure the locals were pleased that it tied up traffic.

Tiger, who again was paid over $2 million just to show up for the tournament, is coming off a busy week chasing money around Asia. First, he played in the one-day exhibition match against Rory McIlroy at Mission Hills for a reported $1.5 million.

Then, he went off to Macau for some more “on-course commitments,” along with signing autographs for fans, not to mention hanging out in the casino — perhaps to spend some of that cash he’s been picking up in those large wheelbarrows (to lighten the load!).

Before heading to Turkey, Woods also gave a clinic to kids in Singapore. No word on the fee, but if I’m a betting woman, I doubt it was simply a random act of kindness.

Ahmet Ali Aoaoolu, President of the Turkish Golf Federation, who will greet Woods on the first tee at the inaugural Turkish Airways Open, says Tiger is worth every penny, though, according to Bernie McGuire:

“Tiger Woods brings much more than golf.  He is a superstar in many other ways…

“He brings with him much more than golf. He is a superstar in many other ways,” (Ahmet) said.

“People only see Tiger on the course. Few people see the other, caring side of him.“We know he costs money but we believe it is well spent because he does all the ­off-course stuff with the same class.”

Well, that’s how the sponsors felt in China and Singapore, and from witnessing the fanaticism in person, I can’t disagree with that.

Why do they call this time of the year “silly season”? I move to rename it “wheelbarrow season” because the top pros — besides Adam Scott, apparently — are simply jetting around the world collecting gazillions of bucks. Capitalism at its best!

Meanwhile, Tiger’s Olympic champion skier girlfriend Lindsey Vonn is making the media rounds. Vonn opened up to Katie Couric on Katie about her relationship with Woods, according to People:

“He’s always telling jokes…He’s funny. He’s really laid back. He’s a great guy…”He’s very competitive just like me. We have very similar personalities,” she said.

But she’s well aware that her revelations may not win her rave reviews once she gets home.

“He’s goofy, like dorky-goofy,” she shares. “He’s not going to be that excited that I just said that.”