2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • China closes 66 'illegal' golf courses
    China closes 66 'illegal' golf courses

    China's Communist rulers have turned against the exclusive sport of golf with the government saying nearly 70 "illegal" courses have been closed, seemingly enforcing a decade-old ban for the first time. The announcement by the ministry of land and resources comes amid a high-profile anti-graft campaign spearheaded by President Xi Jinping, which has seen crackdowns on banquets, lavish gift-giving and other official excesses. The ruling Communist Party has long had an ambivalent relationship with golf, which is a lucrative opportunity for local authorities and a favoured pastime of some officials, but is also closely associated with wealth and Western elites. "Presently, local governments have shut down a number of illegally-built golf courses, and preliminary results have been achieved in clean-up and rectification work," read the announcement on the ministry's website late Monday.

  • Tiger plays 18 but unsure of Masters
    Tiger plays 18 but unsure of Masters

    Tiger Woods played an 18-hole practice round at Augusta National but remains uncertain if he will compete in next week's Masters, according to reports. ESPN and USA Today, citing comments from Woods agent Mark Steinberg, reported that Woods continues to work on his game but is undecided if he will be ready in time for the year's first major and try for a fifth green jacket.

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