<
>

New D.C. event to be held July 5-8

2/27/2007 - Golf Tiger Woods

The PGA Tour is returning to the nation's capital with a guy who
carries more clout than anyone in golf: Tiger Woods.


Woods will join Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus as hosts of a
PGA Tour event, although still to be announced was a title sponsor
and a golf course for the new tournament in the Washington, D.C.,
area during Fourth of July week.

The Tiger Woods Foundation will run the tournament, and the
foundation will be the chief beneficiary of charity.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to expand awareness and
interest in the work we're doing for millions of kids across the
country," Woods said in a statement. "I'm grateful the PGA Tour
selected us as partners and am very excited my foundation will host
another amazing event, this time in our nation's capital."


The tournament will be held July 5-8 and takes the spot in the
schedule that once belonged to the International outside Denver.

The International cancelled its event three weeks ago because it
could not find a title sponsor. Tournament founder Jack Vickers
attributed the demise to Woods not playing his event.


That won't be a problem in Washington.


Woods probably won't play his new event this year because his
wife is expecting their first child in early July. But he figures
to be a regular in the long haul, especially with his foundation
running the tournament and getting a big portion of the charity.


The world's No. 1 player has only competed three times in the
area -- twice at the Presidents Cup held at Robert Trent Jones Golf
Club in northern Virginia, and at the 1997 U.S. Open at
Congressional.


The relationship between Woods and a PGA Tour event is even
stronger than the Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston, which
also benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation. Woods has never missed
that event, which is now part of the FedExCup playoff series.


He is host of the Target World Challenge, an unofficial event in
December for 16 top players, which benefits the Tiger Woods
Learning Center and other programs in his foundation.


Greg McLaughlin, president and CEO of the Tiger Woods
Foundation, said the Washington event won't have any immediate
affect on the silly-season event held at Sherwood Country Club.

"We're very committed to maintaining the challenge season event
we have in December in Southern California," he said. "And we're
really excited about our partnership with the tour and the
Washinton market."

They will have to move quickly with the tournament only 18 weeks
away. Woods and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem will have a press
conference March 7 in Washington to announce more details, such as
the title sponsor and course.


Washington appeared to have lost its PGA Tour event under the
shorter FedExCup season, when title sponsor Booz Allen showed no
interest in moving from the summer to a fall event, after the Tour
Championship.


One course mentioned most often in the Washington area is
Congressional, which first hosted the PGA Tour event when it moved
to Washington in 1980. The TPC Avenel became the host course in
1987, although Congressional was used on a one-time basis in 2005.


Congressional is to host the 2009 U.S. Amatuer and the 2012 U.S.
Open.


Also available, depending on club membership, is RTJ. It has
held the Presidents Cup every time it has been played in the United
States since 1994, although the tour announced Tuesday that Harding
Park in San Francisco would get the '09 matches.


As for Avenel, Finchem said earlier this month that renovation
on the TPC course and its clubhouse would start this spring, but he
did not say whether a tournament would return.


"With the rebuild of Avenel, it would be available by '09," he
said. "It would become an option, even though we don't feel a
necessity to play there."


Meantime, Vickers not only lost his tournament, but he saw it
replaced by one that is virtually guaranteed of getting Woods. A
spokeswoman for Vickers did not return a phone call seeking
comment.