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Barry Hearn moves into golf management

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Barry Hearn moves into golf management

After changing the face of snooker, shaking up boxing and venturing with less success into soccer - he is the chairman of lowly Leyton Orient - Barry Hearn has announced the first stage of his plan to give golf a much higher profile.

With the £250,000 backing of bookmakers Victor Chandler and a partnership with sports agent Jonathan Barnett, Hearn has created Matchroom Golf Management.

Their first signings are Mansfield's Greg Owen, 64th on last year's European Order of Merit, Wales' former Walker Cup player Bradley Dredge and Scot Greig Hutcheon.

Five more names are expected to be unveiled in the next few weeks.

"We will be bringing a breath of fresh air to golf management," he said. "I've already sent my first fax to McCormack. It says simply 'you have been warned.'

"I am confident I have the right raw material to work with and that golf is going to be a major, major force in the world of sport in the coming years.

"I'm already feeling a buzz about this. I feel like I'm back in 1982 when I had eight snooker players and we said we were going to take over the world. Within three years we were earning 76% of the prize money."

He has told his new clients that "at some stage in your careers I'm going to embarrass you."

He jokingly does not rule out the playing of 'Simply The Best' as each of them goes to the first tee.

"Barry is going to bring a whole new dimension to golf," said the 27-year-old Owen, at 6ft 3ins already one of the most easily recognised players on the circuit. "His enthusiasm is way beyond anything I have ever been involved in."


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