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Woods' fee too rich for event

Scott Langley shoots 65 to pull into a tie for the lead after three rounds at the Sony Open.

Scott Langley shoots 65 to pull into a tie for the lead after three rounds at the Sony Open.

The price tag to have Tiger Woods was too high, even in the oil-rich state of Qatar.

Organizers of the Qatar Masters decided not to pay Woods a $3 million appearance fee to play in their tournament, CBS Sports reported, citing a Doha News story.

"Tiger Woods demands $3 million just for an appearance, if he were to compete in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters — which is not worth paying for a tournament of $2.5 million prize money," Qatar Golf Association president Hassan al Nuaimi said, according to the Doha News.

Woods never has played in the tournament, and his agent, Mark Steinberg, told Bloomberg News in an email that the 14-time major winner "was never contemplating Qatar."

The Qatar Masters, a European Tour event, is Jan. 23-26; Woods said last week on his website that he plans to play in a PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif., on Jan. 24-27.

Woods will be in the Middle East this month, but a week after the Qatar Masters — at the HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Rookies still lead

HONOLULU — PGA Tour rookies Russell Henley and Scott Langley get to play one more round together at the Sony Open, this time with a lot more on the line.

Henley two-putted from 30 feet for birdie on the last hole Saturday for 3-under 67, pulling him even with Langley, who shot 65. They broke the tournament scoring record through 54 holes at 17-under 193.

Better yet, they had a three-shot lead over Tim Clark.

At stake today is a trophy, the customary lei draped around the neck — and oh yes, an invitation to the Masters.

If the third round was any indication, Clark and everyone will have to chase them down. The 23-year-old rookies never flinched on a warm afternoon with only a mild breeze on a Waialae Country Club that was ripe for low scores.

Langley made seven birdies to offset two bogeys. Henley has been steadier and carries a streak of 43 holes without a bogey into the final round.

They each seek to become the first rookie to win a PGA Tour debut since Garrett Willis in the 2001 Tucson Open.

"The Vegas odds on me winning were probably not very good," said Langley, not a betting man himself. "I hope somebody bet on me and I make him a lot of money."

Henley looked relaxed when he finished his round and said he still felt as though he was playing with house money.

"It's already been a successful week," he said. "Win or lose, I'm not too stressed about it."

Henley and Langley shared low amateur honors at Pebble Beach in the 2010 U.S. Open, then became fast friends by flying together to Northern Ireland for the Palmer Cup.

The rookies have ruled along the shores of Oahu, and if not for Clark, it would have been even more pronounced. Clark made a birdie on the last hole that put him into the final group.

Otherwise, that spot would have been occupied by Scott Gardiner of Australia, who had 64 and was four shots behind.

Charles Howell III, twice a runner-up at the Sony Open, had 67 and also was four behind. Four others, including Monday qualifier Danny Lee (66), were another stroke back at 198.

EUROPEAN: Scott Jamieson of Scotland shot 4-under 68 and took a five-stroke lead in the Volvo Champions, while Louis Oosthuizen faded in the third round in Durban, South Africa. Jamieson was at 15-under 201 and led Oosthuizen (74), Thongchai Jaidee (73) and Julien Quesne (67).

Woods' fee too rich for event 01/12/13 [Last modified: Sunday, January 13, 2013 12:27am]
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