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Now We'll See Who Money Players Are

Golf: Shark Shootout at Sherwood this weekend is latest stop in a lucrative off-season.


So this is golf's off-season?

Pro golf's traveling deposit slip, otherwise known as those tournaments in the seven-week period between the PGA's Tour Championship and Christmas week, arrives today at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks.

That's where the the $1.1-million Franklin Templeton Shark Shootout will be played today through Sunday, a 54-hole, two-man-team event with a different format each day--alternate shot, best ball and scramble.

Actually, it should be noted that the off-season events always are played under the scramble format, as in scrambling for money.

This year, the number of off-season events around the world has hit 47, which through a strange coincidence is not only an all-time high, but also the exact number of times John Daly has changed hairstyles.

There's no mistaking that for the professional golfer, the off-season has a lot going for it.

To begin with, there's the money.

Need more? Well, there are also the nice places the players can take their families. Last week, it was Maui. This week, it's Southern California and next week, it's Australia or maybe even Sun City, South Africa, the place where the winner gets a mere $1 million.

The players consider the off-season a comfortable payback for the competitive grind they must go through on whatever tour they play during the regular season, whether it was PGA or LPGA or Senior PGA or even South American, European, Asian or Australasian or Money Market Birdieland Tour.

Besides raising money for charity, the players' philosophy about the Shark Shootout remains downright simple.

"We're out to have fun," Raymond Floyd said. "Have a little competition before the holidays and be with our buddies."

That's the Shark Shootout, all right, where the important things are male bonds and stocks and bonds.

Last year at Sherwood, the winning team was Steve Elkington and Mark Calcavecchia, whose 32-under par total of 184 beat Lee Janzen and Chip Beck by one shot. The winners' share was $300,000.

Elkington is pretty low key and Calcavecchia is sort of volatile, so they should complement each other. Elkington said he doesn't like to throw clubs but said Calcavecchia does.

"Mark throws away so many clubs, he'll putt with his shoe if that's all he's got left," Elkington said. "Who knows what's going to happen out there?"

Indeed, but with 20 millionaires in the field, if any of them do start throwing away their clubs, at least they will be able to afford new ones.


Shark Shootout at a Glance

WHAT: Franklin Templeton

Shark Shootout.

WHEN: Today through Sunday.

WHERE: Sherwood Country Club,

Thousand Oaks.

WHO: Ten two-man teams of PGA Tour and Senior PGA Tour players competing in a 54-hole event in three formats--alternate shot, best ball and scramble.

PRIZE MONEY: $1.1 million, $300,000 to the winning team.

TV: Today, noon-2 p.m. ESPN; Saturday, 10:30-12:30 p.m. Channel 2; Sunday, 12:30-3 p.m. Channel 2.

THE FIELD: John Daly, David Duval, Brad Faxon, Lee Janzen and Jim Colbert received special invitations. Teams are Raymond Floyd-Greg Norman, Curtis Strange-Mark O'Meara, Chip Beck-Scott Hoch, Craig Stadler-Lanny Wadkins, Jay Haas-Tom Kite, Daly-Duval, Faxon-Peter Jacobsen, Hale Irwin-Janzen, Colbert-Bruce Lietzke, and defending champions Mark Calcavecchia-Steve Elkington.

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