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COMPUTING

From...
PC World

Golf tournaments go online

October 11, 1999
Web posted at: 10:28 a.m. EDT (1428 GMT)

by James A. Martin

(IDG) -- Shopping for groceries, finding a new job, becoming a national golf champion: The Web makes so many challenging tasks easy to accomplish these days.

Golf champion? You read correctly. Forget about sweating under a hot sun in a sand trap; now you can swing your way to golf fame with a few well-executed mouse clicks and an Internet connection.

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The world's first major online golf tournament, complete with cash prizes, is a project developed by pro Jack Nicklaus and multimedia game developer GameStorm with sponsorship from Comfort Inn. The tournament begins November 5, concludes in December, and encompasses four virtual golf courses, each modeled on an actual course.

Virtual contenders to the Tiger Woods crown can register at Nicklaus's online golf tournament site, pick preferred tee times for each of the three qualifying rounds, download the free GameStorm software needed to play, and take some practice swings at the virtual courses.

The first tournament round is on the virtual Cabo del Sol course the weekend of November 5-7. Subsequent weekend rounds will be played online at the virtual Colleton River Plantation course (November 12-14), with qualifying rounds at a digital version of the Muirfield Village course (November 19-21).

During the tournament, you can play each round twice; your best scores apply. Winners of the preliminary rounds will be flown to the Pelican Hill Golf Course in Southern California to compete in an online final round December 10. While the virtual contenders are playing the final on a digital re-creation of the course, the real Pelican Hill course will be occupied by the pros competing in the fifth annual Diners Club Matches.

Standings will be determined by the average of a player's best two rounds. Along with an all-expenses-paid trip to the Diner's Club Matches, the champion gets $5000, $500 in Comfort Inn coupons, and various golf merchandise. The runner-up receives $2000; the third-place golfer earns $1000. Other top finishers will receive golf balls, clubs, bags, and other prizes.


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