"Golf tourney gets help from Tiger's agent"

Thanks to reader Jay for the heads up on this Justin Catanoso story from The Business Journal, dated January 13th (hey, no one ever said blogging had to be timely):

For a while last year, the future of the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro was bleak, at best. Golf's biggest stars avoid it. TV ratings aren't great. And even with vast improvements, the course and setting, fairly or not, are often criticized as less-than-optimal.

But PGA officials have been giving Greensboro a serious second look. They've been impressed with a newly constituted board of directors made up of the city's most affluent and influential corporate leaders, from VF Corp., United Guaranty and Jefferson-Pilot, among others.

And those leaders have pulled a coup of sorts, leveraging the clout of one of the most influential people in professional golf to lobby on their behalf -- Mark Steinberg, a top executive with sports-consultant giant IMG. He is best known as Tiger Woods' agent.

Since last summer, beginning at the British Open, Steinberg has been talking up Greensboro and the seriousness of its new board to top PGA Tour officials. Not surprisingly, they've listened.

"We hired Mark Steinberg," says one board member of the four-month-old Greensboro Jaycees Charitable Foundation, which now controls the Chrysler Classic, "because he has a special relationship with the PGA. He has access; he gets in front of the right folks."

You may recall that after the FedEx Cup was announced, John Hawkins revealed (and it was posted here) that Steinberg was also a consultant of sorts to Tim Finchem.

 "There are going to be two sides to this," said IMG's Mark Steinberg, Woods' agent and a key player in the shaping of the tour's revisions.

Leigh Steinberg, eat your heart out!