ATT Signs on to Sponsor Tigers DC Event
But this wasn't about taking his place with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Woods was more interested in the dozen children seated to the side of a packed lounge in the National Press Club, where Woods and PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem announced plans for the AT&T National that marks the return of golf to the nation's capital.
Still to be determined is where the tournament will be played and the size of the field.
Woods made clear, however, that the tournament would pay tribute to the military over the Fourth of July, and pay for a new Tiger Woods Learning Center in the Washington area as he expands his foundation's goal to help children.
'The last year or so, we've been looking up and down the Eastern seaboard for a new learning center,' Woods said. 'And then this opportunity fell into our laps. It makes sense to build it here, we just haven't had time to find a site yet.'
The first step is to build a tournament.
The AT&T National replaces the International outside Denver, which shut down last month when tournament founder Jack Vickers couldn't find a sponsor, which he blamed in part on Woods not playing the event.
It will be played July 5-8, and Woods isn't sure if he will be able to play this year because his wife is expecting their first child. But while Palmer bought the Bay Hill Club and Nicklaus built his own course in his hometown outside Columbus, Ohio, Woods is establishing his tournament roots in Washington.
'That's our intent, to stay here and have this be our home event, hopefully for perpetuity,' he said.
The Tiger Woods Foundation will run the tournament, with charitable money going to the foundation toward building a learning center. Woods' first learning center, which cost $25 million, opened a year ago in Anaheim, Calif.
Woods becomes the youngest player to host a tournament. Bobby Jones was 32 when the Augusta National Invitation -- which later became the Masters -- was held in 1934. Nicklaus was 36 when the Memorial was played for the first time. Palmer was 44 when he took over at Bay Hill, and Byron Nelson had been long retired when he gave his name to a tournament in Dallas.
'Not too many people are fortunate to have an opportunity like this,' Woods said. 'What Bobby Jones did for golf and starting the Masters, that won't be touched. As far as what Jack has done at the Memorial, or Arnold at Bay Hill or Mr. Nelson in Dallas, those have been true legends of the game. They made a tremendous impact on our sport.
'I want to build something along that level,' he said. 'Obviously, with my competitive nature, I want it to be better.'
First the tour has to secure a golf course.
All signs point toward Congressional Country Club for 2007 and 2008. The club is to vote on the tour's request over the next few weeks, and Woods and Finchem openly lobbied members to approve it.
'Right now, the energy at Congressional is very, very positive and very supportive,' Finchem said. 'And we hope that carries over to the response from the overall membership.'
Finchem said the purse would be at least $6 million, but he hasn't decided the size of the field. He said it likely would be comparable to other invitationals -- Memorial, Bay Hill, Colonial -- which have fewer than 156-man fields typical of summer events.
Woods always dreamed of being host of a regular PGA TOUR event -- he just didn't expect it this soon.
He started the Target World Challenge, an unofficial event held in California in December, in 1999 and spoke to his father about finding a way to earning full TOUR status.
'The way the TOUR is structured, it didn't look like we would have an opportunity until 2010, '11 or '12,' Woods said. 'But we were lucky enough that this one came up.'
It came at the expense of the International, played at Castle Pines outside Denver. Woods only played there twice, the last time in 1999, and didn't return because he didn't care for the golf course.
AT&T now is title sponsor of five tournaments. The company sponsors PGA TOUR events at Pebble Beach and in Atlanta, along with two tournaments on the Champions Tour. Finchem said the deal in Washington would be for at least five years, with an option to sponsor the event through the end of the TV contract in 2012.
Why couldn't AT&T work in Denver?
'For whatever reason, we couldn't find any magic for sponsors as it relates to Denver,' Finchem said. 'We had been trying two years. The second this is, the International is run by the club and its member. This concept was one where it would be run by the foundation.'
Woods already has put his mark on his new tournament.
He said all active military and all children under the age of 12 will get free admission to the tournament. Both instances are a tribute to his father, Earl Woods, who died last year of cancer.
Earl Woods spent 20 years in the military and did two tours in Vietnam with the Special Forces. Tiger Woods went through training at Fort Bragg a few years ago, and he has made trips to aircraft carriers while in the Middle East for the Dubai Desert Classic.
'I remember when I first came on tour, my goal one day with my father was to host an event on the PGA TOUR. I just wish he could be here to see it,' Woods said. 'I think he probably would have shed a few tears.'
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut
If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.
Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.
But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.
Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.
Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:
Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180
Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70
Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5
Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450
Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200
Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000
Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements
SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.
Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.
“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.
Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.
“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”
Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.
“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”
Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back
SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.
Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.
Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim.
Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.
Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026
SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.
“Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.
“We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.
In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010.