As it stages two fan-voted playoffs to choose the next cover in the series, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 has also revealed that the game's stable of 22 golf professionals will be joined by what sound like celebrity golfers.
Craig Evans, EA Sports' marketing director for the Tiger Woods series, told Kotaku today that the game's roster will include "figures recognizable to the sports world." He didn't say how many of these figures would be included.
"Recognizable to the sport worlds," could mean anything; could be a retired golfer, could be another athlete, could be a non-athlete. EA Sports is not saying who, yet. The game is due to release in March 2012.
It would add another layer of variety to a game that, naturally, has been dominated by Tiger Woods' name and presence for 14 years. This year's cover-voting playoff, announced Monday, also would call attention to the other real-world golfers who appear in the game. Similar to promotions for EA Sports' Madden and NCAA Football, fans will select from a field of eight golfers for both the European (PAL) box cover and the American (NTSC) version.
The winner appears alongside Woods. Woods for the first time shared a cover in 2010 with Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, a candidate for the European version. There will be no combined winner, so McIlroy will not be appearing on the States' version despite dominating a lot of the golf discussion here with a resounding 16 under par triumph at the U.S. Open. American candidates include Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson and Bubba Watson.
All golfers in the two playoffs are confirmed to appear in the game. Seven of them were not featured in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12. All of the candidates and instructions for voting can be found on the game's Facebook page.
As for the "recognizable figures," tease, EA Sports is being tight-lipped. My wholly uninformed speculation? They might be looking at a bringing in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, the celebrity tournament that has been a Tour fixture for more than 70 years. The Tiger Woods PGA Tour series already features Pebble Beach Golf Links, and alternate course Spyglass Hill has been available as DLC.
I have no information that suggests this is the plan, but it would be a way to justify some fun roster additions without being gimmicky about it. The fact Augusta National, an eminently conservative institution, is in this game again also suggests Tiger Woods 13 is not going to do something off-the-wall, like a Caddyshack mode, although Bill Murray is a regular at the Pro-Am.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour [Facebook]