Tiger Woods shed no light on his decision to play the Buick Open next week, his first appearance there since 2006, other than to note on his website, "The golf course suits my eye, and the spectators are always enthusiastic."
It could be in part a show of support for Buick, with which he had a long and lucrative relationship that ended late last year in the midst of General Motors' highly-publicized financial difficulties.
More likely, it is part of an attempt on Woods' part to find some consistency in his golf in time for the season's last major, the PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club.
Woods won his last start before each of the preceding majors this year, followed by ties for sixth in the Masters and the U.S. Open and a missed cut in the British Open. In each case, he took the week off prior to the major.
By playing the Buick, Woods will play three straight weeks for the first time in nearly two years. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship follow the Buick and he is certain to play in both.
More golf should bode well for Woods. In September of '07, the last time he played three in a row, he tied for second, then won the next two. In late summer of '06, he played three in a row, starting with the PGA Championship, and won them all. Incidentally, the last time he played three weeks straight without winning was 2003.
One more things to note: This will mark only the sixth time in his career he will have played the week prior to a major. The last three times he did so he won the PGA Championship in 2007, was second in the PGA in 2002 and won the PGA in 2000.
-- John Strege