The tournament was in jeopardy after the NCAA eliminated the committee that decides which events are exempt from a rule that limits the number of playing days for student-athletes. The College All-America Golf Classic had been an exempt event for golfers.
The NCAA Board of Directors approved a new exemption Monday. It will become official if no one objects during a 60-day waiting period.
Organizers predicted the tournament wouldn't survive without the exemption because coaches needed their best players for team tournaments. Division I All-Americans and national champions from lower divisions are the only players eligible for the El Paso event, which is the only individual stroke-play event in the NCAA.
'No coach is going to send his best player to the All-American if it would count against his team's playing date,' tournament director Bob Kimble said.
Woods and fellow major winners Davis Love III and David Duval are among the winners in the 33-year history of the event. It was canceled in 1987 when the NCAA passed legislation limiting the number of playing dates. An exemption was secured the next year.
This year's event is scheduled for Nov. 23-25 at El Paso Country Club.
NCAA officials didn't immediately a phone call Tuesday from The Associated Press.
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