At 7.45pm tonight, Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose will tee off in the final pairing in pursuit of winning The Masters. Almost 20 years ago to the day (13 April 1997), Eldrick ‘Tiger’ Woods, stunned the world of golf by becoming the youngest player to win the tournament. Tiger’s final score of eighteen under par remains the course record. Woods made history that day and changed golf forever. A country-club game for elderly gentlemen was made ‘sexy’ by a mixed-race, 21 year-old athlete bursting with energy and charisma. The stats say it all. In 1997 Tiger was the only player under the age of twenty-five in the World Top 10. Today there are four. In 1996, the PGA tour prize money for the whole season was $71m. By 2008 it was $280m. In 1996 there were nine players who earnt more than a million dollars in a season. By 2006 there were ninety-three players. And perhaps Woods’ biggest impact has been on the golf courses themselves. The course at Augusta is now over 500 yards longer than it was back in 1997, the equivalent to adding an extra hole. Whilst Woods may have fallen from grace somewhat over the last few years, the way golf has changed as a result of his actions twenty years’ ago will never be forgotten.

Another week, another piece of property research released on the UK’s regional cities. Research undertaken for Property Week by CACI has ranked the best opportunities for new and secondary office locations across the UK outside of London. Taking into account eight different metrics, including the volume and demographics of each location’s workforce as well as the location’s accessibility, Brighton is reportedly the hottest potential UK office market at present. Reasons cited for Brighton’s success include its' affluent worker population and being an established hotspot for business (with more than 11,000 workers per square mile compared with the average of 7,200). Apparently the Wi-Fi speed there isn’t great though! As expected, the top ten locations are geographically diverse, with Edinburgh and Cardiff claiming the remaining two medal positions. The other cities in the top ten include Bristol, Manchester and Leeds - all St Bride’s Key Office Cities!

As we approach the Easter weekend and the quick succession of Bank Holidays, some of England's more unique sporting events start returning to the calendar. Many of these events, like ‘Dorset Knob Throwing’, ‘Cheese Rolling’ and ‘Well Dressing’ are steeped in tradition and can be traced back centuries. So it was big news in the world of eccentric sports this week that the annual shin-kicking contest on Dover’s Hill, near Chipping Camden has been cancelled due to "dwindling numbers of attendees" and a lack of finance. Remarkably shin-kicking has been practiced ever since 1612. Sizing each other up, the rules state that competitors must hold onto their opponents and kick their shins until they fall to the floor, under the watchful eye of the stickler, or referee. Thankfully the sport no longer permits iron-tipped boots as it once did, whilst competitors are now allowed to stuff their trouser legs with straw for some form of protection. Irrespective of the rather more lenient dress code, surely the games’ organisers can’t have been genuinely surprised by dwindling numbers, can they?
 

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