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The Loop

Could this help explain Woods' Australia foray?

March 24, 2009

It did seem curious that Tiger Woods, even for a $3 million appearance fee, would agree to play in the Australian Masters that time of year (mid-November, when his season already has wound down), so far from home (20 hours or so by air).

Now we learn that Sports Business Journal is reporting that the HSBC Champions, heretofore a European PGA Tour event in Shanghai, China, will become a World Golf Championship event.

The HSBC Champions is an IMG-managed event. Inasmuch as it would have WGC and IMG attached to it, one would presume that Tiger Woods would play in it. Moreover, it is scheduled to be played the week preceding the Australian Masters.

Though it isn't an easy commute from Shangai to Melbourne (a nine-hour flight or so), both tournaments are in the Eastern Hemisphere. It stands to reason that the HSBC Champions as a WGC event would make it more tempting for Woods to play in Australia in November.

-- John Strege