Notes Tiger Impressed with Quail Hollow

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PGA TourCHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Tiger Woods is playing in North Carolina for the first time in five years, although odds are he won't wait that long to return.
 
Woods made it sound like the Wachovia Championship will be a regular on his tight tournament schedule.
 
'I can see myself playing consistently here,' he said Wednesday. 'It's such a great golf course. It's so challenging. We don't get a chance to play too many golf courses like this anymore - old school, a traditional-style golf course, tree-lined fairways. It's really rare and enjoyable to play.'
 
The Wachovia Championship is only in its second year, but it got rave reviews last year. A good field a year ago turned into a great one with the addition of Woods and Masters champion Phil Mickelson.
 
'I heard so many great things over this past year about what a wonderful event this is and how great it is run, and how phenomenal the golf course is,' Mickelson said.

Along with a great course (Quail Hollow), tournament officials take pampering to a new level. It began in January, when tournament director Kym Hougham left players a bottle of Dom Perignon in their lockers at the winners-only Mercedes Championships.
 
Players are given a Mercedes-Benz to drive for the week. There is a choice of three dining rooms. Even the caddies, who don't always get the best treatment, are allowed to valet park their cars.
 
Still, it starts with the grass between the ropes.
 
'You could hold a major here tomorrow,' Chris DiMarco said. 'The bottom line is, if you have a really good golf course, we will (play).'
 
Quail Hollow used to have the Kemper Open, but it was moved some 20 years ago to the Washington, D.C., area and first was played at Congressional. Eventually, it moved to the TPC at Avenel.
 
Perhaps it's no coincidence that tournament, now called the Booz Allen Classic, draws one of the weakest fields of the PGA Tour summer season.
 
The Booz Allen will be played next year at Congressional. Woods is among those said to be giving it consideration.
 
RYDER CUP
Chris DiMarco has made the Ryder Cup a major goal for the next four months.
 
DiMarco, who missed out on the last team when David Toms won the PGA Championship, got his first taste of team competition last year at the Presidents Cup in South Africa and he ranks that the most enjoyable time he has ever spent on a golf course.
 
'My main focus is to win a tournament. If I win a tournament, that's going to help me tremendously for the Ryder Cup points,' said DiMarco, who is 13th in the standings. 'I'm playing a lot of golf this summer to help myself hopefully get on that team.'
 
Toms, meanwhile, is trying not to think about the Ryder Cup.
 
He was the American star when they lost to Europe two years ago at The Belfry, and would be a leading choice to be a captain's pick if he doesn't finish in the top 10 on points.
 
Toms missed the first six weeks of the year recovering from wrist surgery. He is feeling better now, although the former PGA champion has slipped to No. 7 in the standings.
 
'Am I thinking about that? No,' he said. 'I'm thinking about just wanting to play good again. I think that will take care of itself, if I play like I'm capable of playing.'
 
Toms, who was in DiMarco's position during the 2001 season, found himself getting too wrapped up in the standings and putting too much pressure on himself.
 
'I got to the point where I was struggling that summer,' he said. 'I was missing cuts and not playing that great. All of a sudden, I felt like I just wanted to play good golf, and I did that and won the PGA Championship.'
 
DISTANT REPLAY
David Toms has seen plenty of highlights of his 2001 victory in the PGA Championship, but only at various functions where he is introduced.
 
He doesn't keep that videotape handy, nor does he watch replays of any of his victories.
 
'The only time I watch is if my son wants to watch it, one of those days where he doesn't have the cartoons on that he wants, and we'll pull out the tapes,' Toms said. 'I don't like to watch myself on the nightly news. To me, I'm going to go do my job the next day and move on.'
 
STREAK BUSTER
The last time Vijay Singh was on a roll, he had 12 consecutive finishes in the top 10 and was closing in on the modern record of 14 set by Jack Nicklaus.
 
Then, he missed the cut at Torrey Pines.
 
'It got to me in a negative way,' Singh said. 'We talked about it so much, that my focus was more on the top 10 than winning the tournament. When your focus is away from the golf tournament, you have problems.'
 
Singh has won the last two weeks in a row. The last player to win three straight weeks was Tiger Woods, who ended the 1999 season with victories at Disney, the Tour Championship and the American Express in Spain.
 
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