Banned over mark
European Tour officials banned Scottish golfer Elliot Saltman for three months for marking his ball incorrectly during an event last year. In a statement released Wednesday, the tour said Saltman "committed a serious breach" of regulations and was suspended immediately from all European Tour and Challenge Tour-sanctioned tournaments. During the first round of the Russian Challenge Cup on Sept. 16, Saltman, 28, was disqualified after his playing partners accused him of marking his ball incorrectly five times and refused to sign his card, according to the British newspaper the Guardian. Sweden's Johan Tumba was the last professional to be expelled from the tour. He was banned for 10 years in 1992 for altering his scorecard.
Woods not money
Tiger Woods was the worst celebrity endorser in 2010, according to a recent study on celebrities in advertising. TV ads featuring Woods affected the value of a campaign by minus 30 percent, revealed the study by Ace Metrix, which measures TV advertising effectiveness. Woods' popularity suffered after his marital affairs were revealed. The scandal prompted Procter & Gamble's Gillette brand to end its sponsorship agreement with Woods, after similar moves by AT&T, Accenture and Gatorade. The study, which tested more than 2,600 TV ads in 2010, found the best endorsement came from Colts quarterback Peyton Manning.
LPGA Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam will give a clinic for the First Tee program at 3 p.m. on Feb. 3 at Lake Jovita Golf Club in Pasco County. She is also being honored that night at Saint Leo University's annual Girls and Women in Sports celebration. The reception starts at 6 p.m. and the program at 7. Tickets are $50 each. For information, call (352) 588-8223.
Looking for something different? Check out the hickory tournament at Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club on Feb. 21. As the name implies, golfers can only use clubs made from hickory, which players used in the early 1900s. For more information or to enter the event, contact Mike Stevens at email@example.com or go to usprohickory.com.
Not in the islands
The PGA Tour starts its season in Hawaii with a winners-only field. The Champions Tour begins this week on the Big Island with a winners-only field, along with a few invitations. The next move is to get the LPGA Tour back in paradise. Warren Haruki, who oversees the Kapalua Resort, said it would like to see the LPGA return with a "Tournament of Champions" format. He figures it would be a good fit with Hawaii's sports theme of bringing only the best to the islands. The LPGA has an unresolved lawsuit against Kapalua. It stems from a five-year contract the resort signed to stage a tournament, only to stop after one year when it couldn't find a title sponsor. "We've been fishing around for a replacement LPGA event," said Mark Rolfing, in charge of the PGA Tour's opener in Kapalua and a central golf figure in Hawaii. "… We have to find a way to create it."