EA Hitches Its Star to a 4th Place Golfer

Golf?s Masters Tournament 2011 didn?t give Electronic Arts the boost they?d hoped for. Tiger Woods who graces their PGA Tour series performed well, but not good enough to take the top prize. The aging master came in fourth.

The EA video game series has garnered many enthusiasts and lots of dollars, reportedly $671.3 million in revenue. The latest version PGA Tour 12 features the Augusta National course for the first time. However, the golden boy of the PGA is falling behind the under-par playing of younger club wielders. His fall from favor is considered to be the cause of decreased sales of the virtual version of the Tour. Electronic Arts was hawking its latest release at the 75th annual Masters, hoping the on-site exposure would draw golf fans back to its video offering.

Since its release this month, those who have tried their hand at the video game have given it 9?s out of 10. The program includes an all new career mode, new players and new championship golf courses. Laser scanning technology was used at the Augusta National Golf Club to scan every hole. The digital representation shows vegetation, trees to avoid, azaleas gracing the grounds, and the undulating greens.

In addition, you have several more courses to play on including, St Andrews Links, Pebble Beach Golf Links, and the Australian Roy Melbourne Golf Club. The Nintendo Wii incorporates the Wii Balance Board for the first time so you can perfect your stance. You can even earn Balance Points in Arcade Mode as you become a well balanced golfer.

Tiger?s Eagle on 8th Hole Final Round Didn?t Win the Day
Tiger?s Eagle on 8th Hole Final Round Didn?t Win the Day

Even with high ratings, not everyone is happy with all aspects of the video game. Daniel Castorani was a designer on The Road to The Masters career mode in Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12. Hoping to clear up concerns about DLC (downloaded content), he wrote: "The EA SPORTS Golf Rankings are derived from a formula that is based on averages. Much like in real golf, not everyone plays all the events- in fact some of the higher profile golfers skip quite a few events every season. The points you earn are divided by the number of events you play in, thus the key to the EA SPORTS Golf Rankings is quality of performance, not quantity of events." He says the DLC can help you, but won?t hurt you.

New Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 is the first that doesn't feature Tiger Woods on the packagingSome features of the game actually can help you become a better golfer. The new version introduces the Caddie Experience which provides you with a coach as you move through the course. The caddie evaluates the situation before you take a swing. Your caddie will take wind, lie, and yardage into account before a making a recommendation.

Tiger Woods? could have used a few recommendations, not only in his personal life, but in his recent showing at the Masters. Woods tied for the lead, then dropped behind the youthful pack. It is no wonder his image doesn?t grace the packaging on EA?s recent release. Final scores: Charl Schwartztel, 274 total strokes or 14 under par with first-ever, 4 last-hole birdies; Day and Scott tied at -12; Woods fell to 4th place with -10.

Rory McIlroy, 21-year-old star from Northern Ireland, at one time had a one shot lead, but finished a disappointing 4 under par. Schwartzel, from South Africa, joins countrymen Gary Player and Trevor Immelman who both earned the same trophy in previous years. Player?s first win was 50 years ago. Tiger Woods won in 1997 with a record margin of 12 shots. The current winner of the prestigious green sports jacket can be seen in an interview here. The green jacket tradition began years ago and became a symbol of membership in the ultra-exclusive Augusta National Golf Club. Slipping into the jacket today indicates entry into the exclusive club of Masters Champions, which was first bestowed upon Sam Snead in 1949. Legendary Jack Nicklaus has worn it on six different occasions.

Ishikawa donates winnings to Japanese relief efforts. Credit: Getty Images
Ishikawa donates winnings to Japanese relief efforts. Credit: Getty Images

However, as far as Japan is concerned, a 19 year old stole the day. Ryo Ishikawa, ended well below the leaders with 285 strokes, but still earned $93,200. That money is earmarked for the relief effort in his native Japan. He may not have his image on a video game ? yet ? but his name resides in the hearts of his countrymen.

ESRB rates PGA Tour 12 for Everyone, and you can get it at the usual stores, Walmart, GameStop, Amazon and Best Buy. On the Wii expect to pay 49.95, while the PlayStation3 will set you back $10 more.