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Golf News: - Posted 15th October 1998

Tiger Woods changes agent but stays with IMG

Wentworth, Surrey - Tiger Woods changed his agent at the International Management Group (IMG) after discussions with Alastair Johnston, IMG's Director of Golf, Johnston said on Thursday.

He and Woods had been discussing the change for several weeks, Johnston added, and as a result, another IMG management team will be put together to deal with his financial affairs.

Woods will no longer be handled by Hughes Norton, the man credited with drawing up contracts worth some $90 million to the player.

"Tiger and I have been discussing, on the anniversary of his second year as a professional, a new programme to go forward with.

"He was of the opinion, and I accepted it, that he needed a change in personality and style in those working for him," Johnston said.

"There has always been a 'Team Tiger' of four or five people at IMG working for him and I anticipate Hughes and perhaps one other being replaced."

Woods said: "It's something that's a change I need to make in my life. It was the right time, that's about it. I'm very comfortable with the position I am in right now and I'm very happy," said Woods, the 1997 Masters champion who was to play Ian Woosnam of Britain in the second round at Wentworth on Friday.

His father Earl Woods was quoted by Sports Illustrated magazine as saying: "For Hughes, the dollar is almighty. For Tiger, money is not that important. And Hughes underestimated Tiger's personal growth and his grasp of his own business."

Johnston said that because of the business deals set up for Woods, "there has never been a financial incentive as to where and when he plays.

"He has never had to play in a tournament to pay the rent or a mortgage."

Johnston said he would be having further discussions wth Woods when he returns to the U.S. from England next week.