Posted by: maboulette | November 16, 2011

TIGER TO OPEN 2012 IN ABU DHABI, NOT TORREY PINES


ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Instead of starting the 2012 golf season at Torrey Pines, Tiger Woods has agreed to start the season in a tournament in Abu Dhabi instead of his traditional PGA Tour start in San Diego.

The former top-ranked golfer will play in the Jan. 26-29 Abud Dhabi HSBC Championship along with current No. 1 Luke Donald and defending champion Martin Kaymer, organizers said Wednesday.

This is a surprising move for Woods, taking appearance money for the European Tour event instead of playing what Tiger has always stated is one of his favorite PGA Tour courses.  He’s won seven times at Torrey Pines as a pro, including his 14th and last major at the 2008 U.S. Open.

When healthy, Woods has been starting his season at Torrey Pines since 2006. He missed the 2009 and 2010 tournaments due to injuries.

In the Press Release on Woods’ website announcing his participation Wednesday, he said he’s interested in visiting new places.

“I’m looking forward to 2012 and what I hope will be a great year of golf for me,” Woods said. “I’ve always enjoyed playing in HSBC events around the world, so I have been interested in including the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in my schedule for some time.”

Adding Woods is a coup for Abu Dhabi in its rivalry with the Dubai Desert Classic, where Woods has been a mainstay for years. Tournament manager Faisal al-Sheikh boasted that the “giants of golf” are coming to Abu Dhabi.


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