Charles Schwab Challenge

Colonial Country Club

The Loop

Hey, he's just a golfer, not the president (yet)

October 17, 2009

Tiger Woods, of course, will never be the president (we think), but he is something more than just a golfer. He's the most important and celebrated athlete in the world, as the reception that is planned for him in Australia next month reiterates.

Woods has been enticed by a $3 million appearance fee to return to Australia for the first time in 11 years and will play in the Australian Masters, and his Aussie hosts are determined to do whatever they can to ensure that he returns the following year.

"Private jets, front-row seats to a Broadway musical, VIP security, a gala dinner worth $60,000-a-table, world-class restraunts, top-secret accommodation and an itinerary to rival a US president," the Daily Telegraph writes in this story on preparations for Woods' visit.

The tournament sold out two weeks ago. Tournament officials expect 25,000 fans to be following him Kingston Heath Golf Course, according to the newspaper.

Woods, meanwhile, will have the benefit of the same security force that safeguards Greg Norman on his visits there. He will arrive via private jet and will be chauffeur-driven to an undisclosed location at which he'll stay. On Tuesday evening, Woods will headline a $6,000 per plate dinner for government dignitaries, celebrities and corporate heads.

"We want him to think the experience and atmosphere is fantastic of Melbourne, and Kingston Heath is enough for him to think, 'I'd like to come back here','' said Rollo, director of golf for IMG Australia. "We'll do our best in every way possible to make that a reality. He's going to get a rock star welcome.''

He'd better not miss the cut.

-- John Strege