Tiger Woods' return to golf at the Masters might have ended in disappointing fashion, but it was apparently encouraging enough for the world No. 1 to resume a normal playing schedule.
Woods announced Thursday on his website that he will play at the Quail Hollow Championship in Charlotte, N.C., April 29-May 2. The tournament appearance will be the first for Woods in a regular PGA Tour event since the Tour Championship last September.
The early commitment by Woods is a departure from his past routine, since he has traditionally waited until the Friday before an event to commit. His announcement eight days before that deadline is likely a concession to the immense media and fan interest in him since he first stepped away from the game last November.
"I have no idea why he committed now, but I'm grateful that he did," said Quail Hollow tournament director Kym Hougham. "We have 10 more days to market. I would be very surprised if we didn't sell out."
According to Hougham, Woods' presence will require additional security, but it won't be substantially different than what is already in place.
"Our field has always been so strong, so we owe that sort of security to all our players," Hougham said.
The greater adjustment will come with media interest. Although Quail Hollow's media credential applications were closed on April 1, the tournament director said he expects additional requests from golf magazines and national newspapers. But he made clear that tabloid media outlets like TMZ.com and Radaronline.com would not be credentialed.
"They will not be given credentials...We are going to take care of the people who have been here before," Hougham said. "Now that our credential process has closed, we'll work with the legitimate golf periodicals."
Woods has played at Quail Hollow four previous times, and won the event in 2007 when it was known as the Wachovia Championship. His appearance this year will come in the wake of his T-4 showing at the Masters, in which he stumbled early on Sunday and yet rallied enough for a final-round 69.
*-- Sam Weinman *
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