Tiger Commits To Another Trip Down Under
Tiger Woods is making another trip to Australia this November and this time he is targeting the Australian Open at the Lakes golf course in Sydney.
Woods has played in the Australian Masters in each of the last two years, however this year he will tackle the Australian Open, before joining his American countryman to take on the world in the Presidents Cup.
Woods has not won a golf tournament since the Australian Masters back in 2009, and he has slipped out of the top twenty in the world rankings for the first time 1997, however the 14 time major champion is still sure to be a major drawcard.
“I’m very excited to be competing in the Australian Open. I haven’t played in the tournament since 1996, and I’m anxious to return,” Woods said.
“I have a great affinity for playing golf in Australia and I’m looking forward to competing against an outstanding field at the Lakes in Sydney.”
This year’s Open field promises to be one of the best assembled in recent times with Woods headlining a field that also includes the likes of Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Presidents Cup captains Greg Norman and Fred Couples as well as leading Australians Geoff Ogilvy and Jason Day.
“It’s the best field we have ever assembled,” said Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt.
“There’ll be other announcements in the future which is really exciting. It’s already a really deep field but there will be another half dozen top players commit within the next four to six weeks.
“The other thing is there’s a number of players who would have a great chance to win around here, so Tiger may or may not go into the event as favourite depending on what he does in the next couple of months.”
While Tiger may have faded somewhat as a force on the golf course, he still has more drawing power than any player in the game, and New South Wales premier Barry O’Farrell was quick to trumpet the imminent arrival of Woods and the $10 million boost his presence will bring to the local economy.
“Tiger Woods’ participation is great news for the Open and comes as a result of a lot of hard work to secure the coveted lead up dates to the Presidents Cup,” O’Farrell said.
“We are focused on having the strongest and most compelling events calendar in the country and sport obviously plays a key role in that calendar. With Tiger in town the eyes of the world will again be on Australia’s global events city.
“We caught the Shark and now we have the snared the Tiger to give him a chance to join the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Greg Norman, Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer and Peter Thompson on the Open’s honour roll.”
The Presidents Cup commences shortly after the Australian Open, and unless Woods can get back to his winning ways in the near future, he will have to rely on a Captain’s pick from Fred Couples to ensure he gets into the week long teams event.
Couples has made no promises but he has said that a fully fit Woods would be an almost certain starter, and it is unlikely that Woods would make the trip all the way to Australia and not be picked for the biennial teams event.
Woods last played at the Players Championship and has been laid up with an anterior cruciate ligament injury in his knee for the best part of three months.
However Woods will make his return to golf this weekend WGC Bridgestone Invitational before taking on the US PGA Championship the following week.