Golf: Rose lands pounds 600,000 sponsorship deal

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The Independent Online
JUSTIN ROSE, the teenager who finished fourth in the Open in July, has received a sponsorship boost on the eve of his attempt to earn a European Tour card.

Despite failing to make a single cut since the Open, the 18-year-old from Hampshire has signed a three-year deal with the ball manufacturers Maxfli which a spokesperson said could be worth in the region of pounds 600,000.

The agreement includes performance-related bonuses, although Rose's immediate priority is simply to come through the tour qualifying school in Spain starting next Wednesday. Rose faces a tough task. A field of 180 players, including former Ryder Cup players Steve Richardson, Paul Way and Gordon J Brand, will be competing for only 35 cards.

Casey Martin, the golfer who suffers from a rare circulatory disease in his right leg and won the right to use a cart in a PGA Tour event and the US Open, has gone home to Oregon after failing to advance to the final stage of the qualifying school. Martin had rounds of 75-76-75-71 for a 297 on the Black Horse courses in Seaside, California, finishing three strokes off the cut.

Martin is still eligible for the Nike Tour because he won the Lakeland Classic. He also can play PGA Tour events with sponsors' exemptions.

Hale Irwin, coming off a win in the Senior Tour Championship at the weekend that gave him the most successful financial season in golf history, yesterday led the Senior PGA team to a win over the PGA and LPGA teams in the Wendy's Three-Tour championship at Reflection Bay, Las Vegas.

Irwin won the most points in the made-for-television event, while his team-mate Larry Nelson had the highlight of the day when he holed from 220 yards for an albatross on the par-five third hole. Each player on the winning team received $100,000 (pounds 60,500).

Irwin had the day's highest point total of 23.5 to lead the senior team consisting of him, Nelson and Gil Morgan. The PGA team finished second and the LPGA team third.

Justin Leonard was the highest scorer with 20 points for the PGA team, which also included Davis Love III and Fred Couples. Donna Andrews, Annika Sorenstam and Se-Ri Pak represented the women.