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Woods to play in Champions Challenge

5/26/2010 - Golf Tiger Woods Stewart Cink + more

Tiger Woods will participate in the four-hole Champions Challenge at St. Andrews, which will take place the day before the start of the Open Championship.

Woods -- who won the past two Opens at the Old Course, in 2000 and 2005 -- will be joined by 27 other past winners of the Open Championship, including defending champion Stewart Cink and five-time Open winner Peter Thomson, who won his first in 1954.

The four-hole event will take place on the historic course's first, second, 17th and 18th holes on July 14. It will be televised by ESPN as part of its coverage of the Open, which will be held July 15-18.

The event will also see three-time champion Seve Ballesteros return to golf for the first time since being diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2008. Ballesteros won the 1984 Open at St. Andrews.

Past champions Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Gary Player, Robert de Vicenzo and Greg Norman are among those expected to compete, along with Padraig Harrington, Ernie Els and David Duval.

"We're very pleased that there will be such a distinguished and full field for this special occasion," The R&A's chief executive, Peter Dawson, said. "We have six more Open Champions taking part in this special celebration than there were a decade ago at the Millennium Open. It's sure to be a wonderful celebration befitting the 150th anniversary of golf's oldest Major."

The event will have seven four-man teams, with a best ball on each hole counted. They will play for a prize fund of 50,000 pounds (about $72,000, depending on currency exchange rate), with the winning team donating the funds to charity.

The oldest surviving Open champion, Kel Nagle (who won in 1960 at St. Andrews), is unable to participate. Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller and Nick Price have declined their invitations.

Bob Harig covers golf for ESPN.com. He can be reached at BobHarig@gmail.com.