The Loop

Tiger's International Expansion

March 26, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Tiger Woods is beefing up his international schedule at the end of the year, saying Wednesday that he will play the HSBC Champions in China the week before he heads to Melbourne for the Australian Masters.

Woods shut down his overseas travel in 2007 after the birth of his first child, and couldn't play last year as he recovered from knee surgery. He announced last week he would play in Australia for the first time since the Presidents Cup in 1998.

The trip Down Under comes with a $3 million appearance fee, half of which comes from taxpayers in the state of Victoria.

Woods defended the appearance money when asked about it at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

"This is the only place that doesn't have appearance fees," Woods said of the PGA Tour. "Most of the guys get appearance fees to play around the world. I've played all around the world and I've thoroughly enjoyed going.

"Obviously, there's some controversy behind it, but I'm really looking forward to getting down there and competing."

The HSBC Champions is expected to become a World Golf Championship, and when it does, it will be the only WGC event that Woods has not won. But it won't be his first appearance at the tournament in Shanghai.

He was runner-up in 2005 and 2006. Phil Mickelson won the HSBC a year later.