In a week in which none of the world's leading women players decided to try and qualify for this summer's British Open at Hoylake . . .just so happens that regional qualifying in early July clashes with the Women's World Match Play Championship . . . there was a bit of fanfare surrounding Michelle Wie's $300,000 donation to a children's hospital in Korea.

Just so happens that 16-year-old Wie, ranked number two in the world having never won a tournament, will be playing against the men in the SK Telecom Open in Korea starting on Thursday. And it just so happens that she is receiving a $700,000 appearance fee for her trouble, so generous and all as the charitable donation is, it could be designed to de"ect from the largesse of her fee.

Certainly, the defending champion KJ Choi can't have been too enamoured with the cash heading in Wie's direction, although he is believed to be taking home $300,000 before he hits a ball. Wie has yet to make the cut in a men's tournament in seven attempts.


FOR NEW ORLEANS On the subject of filthy lucre, Geoff Oglivy turned over a stone when he wondered out loud if it was appropriate for the players to be divvying up a $6m prize fund for the Zurich Classic in New Orleans at a time when the city is still trying to recover from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina.

Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and Ernie Els are otherwise engaged, only 12 of the world's top 50 players teed it up on Thursday, and Oglivy himself was a late withdrawal.

Phil Mickelson has pledged that he will donate all his prize money to the New Orleans relief fund, so here's hoping that he makes it three in wins in a row this evening, and that the devastated city will benefit to the tune of just over $1m.


Andrew Magee might just have appreciated the irony when the doctor who had just read his MRI scan earlier this year told him he had a tumour the size of a golf ball on his kidney.

Even though the growth was malignant, Magee only had 15 per cent of his kidney surgically removed, and then didn't have to go through the rigours of either chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

A four-time winner on the PGA Tour, but out of form in the past few seasons, 44-year-old Magee was able to return to action at the recent Houston Open where he missed the cut by two shots.

"I got to three under early on, " he explained, "but then I remembered I was back on tour and it was time to screw up."