Fall Guy

February 05, 2007

BY NOW everyonehas seen the outtakes of Tiger Woods unexpectedly decking his costar in a Buickcommercial, but no one has heard from the deckee, Al Nowicki. "It was a lotof fun," says the actor, who has appeared in about 50 commercials. "Itwas Tiger's idea, and I was fine with it. I haven't played football since highschool, but it was a good hit." This was not, however, Nowicki's onlyexperience with a sports legend: "A few years ago I appeared in an AFLACcommercial with Yogi Berra. Nice man. He didn't hit me; he just sat there."... While Nowicki was upgraded to stunt pay (he also received a bruise on theforehead), Tiger made some extra cash that day too. At one point director SteveChase spotted a vertically mounted light, a four-foot-by-eight-inch unit knownas a Kino Flo, about 80 yards away. He bet Woods $10 that Tiger couldn't hitit. Woods dropped a ball, pulled a three-iron and busted the light on the firsttry. (A clip of the shot and other outtakes are scheduled to appear onbuick.com.) Chase paid up but got revenge later when he beat Woods in a game ofclosest to the pin. Still, Chase never saw the money again. "Nah, Tigerjust went double or nothing," Chase says. "I said, 'That's what you do;you just keep betting double or nothing until you win.' Tiger said, 'That'sright, I'm not giving you any of my money.'"

•WORLD GOLF Hallof Famer Seve Ballesteros (below) is coming to America, and it looks as if theSpaniard intends to stay. The two-time Masters champ, who turns 50 on April 9,plans to tee it up as many as 14 times this year, including the Masters, theBritish and Senior British Opens, and up to 11 Champions tour events, beginningwith the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf on April 21--23. Ballesteros is alsoconsidering buying a house in Florida, from which he would continue to play afull senior schedule starting in '08 while, in theory, his sons, Baldomero, 16,and Miguel, 14, play college golf in the U.S. Last year Ballesteros set a 2011retirement date--but his younger son wouldn't graduate until '14.

•THE NATIONWIDETOUR kicked off at last week's Movistar Panama Championship in Panama City,where two notable cut streaks came to an end. The first was 2003 Masterssensation Ricky Barnes's run of 23 straight cuts made, the second longest ofits kind in Nationwide history, which fizzled out when Barnes shot 73--75. Theother belonged to Ted Potter, who played the Nationwide in 2004 and went 0 for24 in cuts. After resurfacing in '06, as the leading money winner on theHooters tour, he returned to the Nationwide this year and not only made the cutbut also went on to shoot 279, finishing 12th.

•SERGIO GARCIA isrealizing the professional fruits of dating Greg Norman's daughter, MorganLeigh. Garcia, who's never designed anything, will work with Norman and PeteDye on a new course in Dubai.

•SUGGESTED WOODSBABY NAME OF THE WEEK Earldrick.

• For AlanShipnuck's weekly Hot List, go to SI.com/golf.

KEY STAT

27%

Tiger Woods's Tour winning percentage (55 of 201), bestin the game's history.

"Bookmakers will give odds on Tiger's missing theOpen." --MY SHOT, PAGE G22

PHOTOCHRIS CONDON/PGA TOUR/WIREIMAGE.COM (FUNK)¬†•TUNNELVISION
Funk never took his eyes off the prize as he shot a 23-under 193 to win theTurtle Bay Championship in Kahuku, Hawaii, by 11 strokes, the largest winningmargin ever in a 54-hole Champions tour event.
PHOTOSTUART FRANKLIN/GETTY IMAGES (BALLESTEROS) PHOTODARREN CARROLL (HOLMES)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)