Stories of interest you might have missed…
Tiger Woods has a new endorsement contract, with India-based Hero MotorCorp, that "covers four years and is the most lucrative new sponsorship agreement for Woods since his 2009 infidelity scandal," Forbes' Kurt Badenhauses writes. "Press reports from India put the value of the Hero deal at roughly $8 million a year. Hero CEO Pawan Munjal wouldn't comment on financial terms, but when asked about the rich price tag, Munjal quipped: It is Tiger Woods after all.'"
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"As golf winds down another season, one question for next year is which player in his 20s might emerge as a rival to [Rory] McIlroy," Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press writes in this look at where golf's next great rivalry will come from. "There's a bunch of young guys that could break through and become legends of this game — Rickie Fowler being one of them,' McIlroy said a few months ago after adding his second straight major. You just have to look at how he's played the majors this year…Jordan Spieth is another.'"
"It's a 'sacred journey' that has been made by hundreds of thousands of American golfers. Now the wheels have been set in motion for another mass of golf-hungry visitors, this time from China, to start descending on St Andrews in years to come," the Scotsman's Martin Dempster writes in this story on St. Andrews Links Trust building its first overseas academy, at The Island Golf Club in Haikou, China.
It was a short off-season for the European Tour, which ended its 2014 season 10 days ago and begins its 2015 season on Thursday. "It's not yet 2015, but the new European Tour season opens this week in South Africa at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City, with three former top-ranked players among those looking to get a jump on 2014 money list winner and No. 1 McIlroy," the Associated Press writes in a preview of the Nedbank and the '15 season.
Three players in the top 40 in the Rolex Rankings — South Korea's Ha Na Jang (25th) England's Charley Hull (37th) and South Korean Sei Young Kim (40th) — are not yet members of the LPGA and have entered the final stage of its qualifying tournament that begins today, as has Minjee Lee, formerly the top-ranked amateur in the world, the Australian Associated Press reports.