Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

PGA National (Champion Course)

The Loop

West and Woods

May 29, 2009

Who knows what Jerry West will bring to the Northern Trust Open in his new role as executive director of the tournament, though if there is a pattern to everything he's done in his life it's success.

His naming to the position does seem to be an effort at damage control for the misguided PR hit Northern Trust took at the hands of politicians looking for an easy target and easier headline.

Still, if you're looking for someone to represent the face of a Los Angeles event, Jerry West is a good place to start. West, meanwhile, sees his role as something greater than glad-handing, and that's a good sign, too.

He seems to have made it a priority to entice Tiger Woods back to the tournament that he has not played since 2006. It seems a likelihood that he can do so. It's hard to imagine that Woods is done playing the professional tournament that gave him his first exemption, despite the fact that he's never won there. He has tied for second once, lost in a playoff (albeit when the event was played at Valencia Country Club in 1998) and had other top-10s.

Plus there's this: Woods is a Lakers fan, and though he was too young to have seen West play, he no doubt is aware of West's reputation and the stature he still commands in the game. West and Woods seems likely to be a good fit.

-- John Strege