With the recently married Woods out of this weeks Funai Classic, Singh is back to defend his title.
This will be the last of four title defenses for Singh in 04. Of course, he already has eight titles to defend next season, and would love to make it nine.
Singh has never successfully defended a title in his career. And only Jack Nicklaus, who won the first three Disney tournaments, and Tim Simpson, who won in 1989-90, have repeated as champion here.
In his three previous defenses this season, Singh tied for third at Phoenix, tied for 59th at the Byron Nelson, and tied for fourth at the John Deere.
Singh, who overtook Woods for No. 1 on the Official World Golf Ranking seven weeks ago, has competed each of the last two weeks on the European Tour. He first tied for 18th in the dunhill links championship and then was bounced in the first round in the HSBC World Match Play Championship by European Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer.
He'll welcome a return to the States, where he has won five of his last six PGA Tour starts.
Singh has said repeatedly that he would like to win 10 tournaments this season. And hell have the opportunity to do so. He is likely to play in the Chrysler Championship, where he finished second to Retief Goosen a year ago, as well as the Tour Championship, which he won in 2002 at the same site it is being played this year (East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga.).
For Woods, however, there may be but one more event to secure his first stroke-play win of the season.
Woods, who won the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, married Elin Nordegren on Oct. 5, and decided to trade in his tools of the trade for one more week in favor of scuba gear and swim trunks.
This is the first time in his professional career that Woods has skipped the Disney tournament, which is played just miles from his Orlando home.
He has never competed in the Chrysler Championship, which is next weeks event in Tampa, meaning hell likely wrap-up his 04 campaign at the Tour Championship, the season finale.
Tigers last stroke-play victory came over a year ago in the WGC-American Express Championship. He would have had a good chance at ending that drought had he decided to tee it up this week. Woods has twice won this event and has finished in the top 3 in five of his eight Disney starts.
There are only two more chances for players to qualify for the Tour Championship, which is awarded to the top 30 players on the money list following the Chrysler. There are also only two more chances to secure full exempt status on tour for next season by finishing in the top 125 on the money list.
This is the 34th playing of what is now officially called the Funai Classic at Walt Disney World Resort. Nicklaus won the first three tournaments, before it became a team competition from 1974-81. It returned to an individual competition in 82 and four players have since won it on multiple occasions: Larry Nelson (1984, 87), Simpson (1989-90), John Huston (1992, 98) and Woods (1996, 99).
The purse has been upped $200K to $4.2 million. The winner will receive $756,000.
There are two courses used in the rotation. Players will rotate between the Palm (par 72, 6,957 yards) and the Magnolia (par 72, 7,200 yards) courses over the first two days. Those who make the cut will play the host Magnolia course exclusively over the weekend.