Tiger game tees off big

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SAN FRANCISCO, April 12 – Electronic Arts on Tuesday announced that a freshly-released "Tiger Woods PGA TOUR" videogame teed-off with the strongest opening sales in the franchise's 14-year history.

The California-based videogame maker estimated that 225,000 copies of "Tiger Wood PGA TOUR 12: The Masters" were sold in the week after its March 29 release in North America.

Those figures were 17 percent higher than the previous opening week high set by "Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 08" after it hit the market in 2007, according to EA.

"We expected fans to be excited about the Masters and for sales to be up significantly," said EA Sports president Peter Moore. "We’re pleased that they are."

Versions of the videogame were tailored for play on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 (PS3), and Wii consoles. Xbox and PS3 titles were priced at $60 while the Wii game software was $50.

The game boasted heightened realism due to laser scanning technology used to digitally replicate in exacting detail nuances of the course at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia.

Players of the videogame racked up nearly two million rounds of golf at Augusta in the two weeks after its debut. Augusta is one of an array of famous golf courses featured in the game.

Fans can play as, or against, a host of professional golfers.

Versions of the software tailored for iPhone smartphones and iPad tablet computers were reportedly the top grossing sports games at Apple’s online iTunes shop during the first week of sales.

EA has stood by the Woods videogame franchise despite the golf icon’s fall from grace.

The 14-time major champion has not won in 22 starts since his infamous sex scandal erupted in November of 2009, having spent much of the time working on charges to his swing motion that ease damage on his surgically repaired knees.

Woods, 35, put on a shot making show that stirred roars from spectators during Masters play at Augusta National on Sunday.

Woods fired a five-under par 67 and briefly grabbed a share of the Masters lead on the front and back nines but settled for a share of fourth for the second year in a row, finishing 72 holes on 10-under 278.

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