Woods' Australian visit brought millions to locals - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Woods' Australian visit brought millions to locals

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FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2009, file photo, Tiger Woods of the United States, hits a shot on the 18th in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009 during the Australian Masters golf tournament at Kingston Heath. FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2009, file photo, Tiger Woods of the United States, hits a shot on the 18th in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009 during the Australian Masters golf tournament at Kingston Heath.

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Tiger Woods' $3 million appearance fee for playing in — and winning — the Australian Masters in November has paid dividends for the Victorian state economy.

Acting state Premier Rob Hulls said Tuesday that Woods' appearance at Kingston Heath Golf Club injected 34 million Australian dollars ($31 million) into the economy, far higher than forecast.

Woods won the Australian Masters on Nov. 15, his last tournament before a Nov. 27 accident at his home when he ran his car over a fire hydrant and into a tree.

Since then, Woods has been enveloped in an infidelity scandal that has seen him remain out of the public eye and announce that he would take an indefinite break from golf.

State taxpayers paid about half of Woods' appearance fee.

"This was truly a great event for Melbourne and Victoria that delivered a massive boost to our tourism industry, attracted thousands of visitors to our state and beamed Melbourne to a global audience," Hulls said while launching an economic impact study into the November event.

"Original projections were that the ... Masters would generate a A$19 million ($17.3 million) boost to the Victorian economy but, due to unprecedented ticket sales and public interest, the actual impact was almost double what was forecast."

Hulls said Melbourne's major hotels were almost completely booked out during the Masters and golf courses across the state reported a surge in bookings. He said there were also economic spinoffs for restaurants, taxis and the retail sector.

A sellout crowd of more than 107,000 attended the four-day Masters and thousands more the Wednesday pro-am and practice days.

 

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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