WOODS-DALY BATTLE MICKELSON-GOOSEN
ON ABC IN PRIMETIME, MONDAY, JULY 25
AT THE LINCOLN FINANCIAL BATTLE AT THE BRIDGES
Three of the Top Five-ranked players in the world -- No. 1 Tiger Woods, No. 4 Phil Mickelson, No. 5 Retief Goosen, as well as John Daly -- will face off in the "Lincoln Financial Battle at The Bridges" from The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe, California, MONDAY, JULY 25 (8:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
The one-round, best-ball format will feature Woods and Daly battling against Mickelson and Goosen. They'll be playing for a $1.7 million purse, with the winners splitting $1.2 million and the runners-up divvying up $500,000. Charity is also a big winner, with a total of $300,000 being donated to various causes. The two winning players will designate $100,000 each from their earnings. The runners-up will donate $50,000 each to the charities of their choice.
ABC Sports' broadcast the Lincoln Financial Battle at The Bridges is in keeping with its recognized Monday Night sports tradition. Coverage from the first tee will begin on ESPN2 from 7:00-8:00 p.m., ET/4:00-5:00 p.m., PT, and will move to ABC Sports from 8:00-11:00 p.m., ET/5:00-8:00 p.m., PT. ABC is broadcasting the event live for the seventh consecutive year.
Woods has played in all six events, while Mickelson, who has played in the last two, paired with Daly in last year's battle. This is the first "Lincoln Financial Battle at The Bridges" competition for Goosen.
"Not only will golf fans appreciate a grouping of stars on a stage like this, but sports fans in general will undoubtedly recognize how much talent and charisma are present in these four players," said Alastair Johnston, vice chairman of IMG.
"The Battle at the Bridges has become an important addition to the summer golf schedule," said Barry Frank, vice chairman of Trans World International (TWI). "Live golf in primetime, some of it under the lights, and all of it featuring the most attractive names on the Tour is truly 'appointment viewing.'"
Tom Martin, president of The Bridges Club at Rancho Santa Fe, is delighted that The Bridges' final Battle will feature three of golf's Top Five players, Tiger Woods, Retief Goosen and Phil Mickelson, along with the "people's choice" John Daly. Martin said: "The Bridges is the perfect setting for the event, not only because Mickelson is a Bridges member, but because both Daly and Woods truly enjoy the environment The Bridges offers."
"We are excited to again sponsor the Lincoln Financial Battle at The Bridges for the sixth year, featuring some of the world's top golfers," said Jon Boscia, chairman and CEO, Lincoln Financial Group. "The combination of power and finesse in this competition, featuring Tiger Woods, John Daly, Phil Mickelson and Retief Goosen, is certain to deliver a riveting night of primetime golf."
Woods, 29, is currently the top-ranked player in the Official World Golf Rankings. In 2004 he surpassed Greg Norman for most weeks at No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking, following the PGA Championship with his 332nd combined week at the top. Woods owns three victories in 2005,
including his fourth Masters, the Buick Invitational and the FORD Championship at Doral, bringing his total PGA Tour victories to 43. He is currently ranked third on the season money list, fourth in scoring average and is third in driving distance.
Daly, 39, the winner of four international victories and five PGA Tour titles -- including two majors -- most recently won the 2004 Buick Invitational. His best finish on the PGA Tour in 2005 is second at the Shell Houston Open. Always a favorite off the tee, the Rogers, Arkansas native ranks ninth in driving distance.
Mickelson, 34, one of golf's most popular and consistent figures, followed his landmark 2004 season -- in which he won the Masters, finished second in the U.S. Open and third in the British Open
-- by sprinting out of the gate in 2005. Already on his season risumi are three victories in the FBR Open the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and the BellSouth Classic. The successful start to this 2005 season has made him the No. 4-ranked player in the world and second on the money list.
Goosen, 36, the reigning U.S. Open champion, is the winner of five PGA Tour events: the 2001 U.S. Open Championship; 2002 BellSouth Classic; 2003 Chrysler Championship; 2004 U.S. Open Championship and The Tour Championship presented by Coca-Cola. He is currently ranked fifth in the Official World Golf Rankings and has won 17 international titles.
The one-round, match-play event has consistently been among golf's highest-rated telecasts. Woods won the inaugural primetime golf event, "Showdown at Sherwood," in August of 1999 on ABC Sports, beating David Duval, 2 and 1. In 2000 the young Spanish sensation, Sergio Garcia, beat Woods, 1-up, to win the "Lincoln Financial Group Battle at BIGHORN". In July of 2001, Woods teamed with Annika Sorenstam to defeat Duval and Karrie Webb on the 19th hole in an alternate shot format. In July of 2002, Woods teamed with legend Jack Nicklaus to best Garcia and Lee Trevino, 3 and 2. In 2003 the event moved to The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe, where Mickelson and Garcia defeated Woods and Ernie Els, 3 and 1. Last year Woods and Hank Kuehne beat Mickelson and John Daly, 2 and 1. Woods in now 4-2 in the Monday night golf event.
ABOUT LINCOLN FINANCIAL GROUP
Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. With headquarters in Philadelphia, Lincoln Financial Group has consolidated assets of $116 billion as of Dec. 31, 2004, and had annual consolidated revenues of $5.4 billion in 2004. Through its wealth accumulation and protection businesses, the company provides annuities, life insurance, 401(k) and 403(b) plans, 529 college savings plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, institutional investment and financial planning and advisory services.
ABOUT THE BRIDGES
The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe, a spectacular layout carved in a breathtaking canyon setting, is in its third of three years as the site for the Lincoln Financial Battle at The Bridges. The par-71 Bridges championship course is the cornerstone of an exclusive estate-home community located 25 miles north of San Diego. It features dramatic terrain, deep canyons, meandering creeks, scenic lakes and pristine landscaping. The course, which opened in 1999, features five sets of tees that stretch the yardage from 5,061 to 6,955 yards. The Bridges' signature 10th hole is a short par-four that requires a tee shot across a 100-foot deep canyon. A stress-ribbon bridge stretches about 100 yards across a deep ravine connecting the tee area to the fairway. Another bridge connects the 11th hole. These are two of only three such structures in the U.S.