Woods is reacting to a possible conflict between the U.S. and Iraq. Dubai is a Middle Eastern country in the same region of the world as Iraq. He said in a statement that he plans to return to the Dubai Desert Classic in 2004.
Although I originally intended to play this week, said Woods in a statement, I have reluctantly decided to postpone my appearance until the 15th event is staged next year.
The tournament organizers reluctantly accepted his decision.
While we are disappointed with Tigers decision to withdraw from the 2003 Dubai Desert Classic, we are delighted he has immediately confirmed his participation for next year, said tournament chairman Mohamed Ali Alabbar.
Losing Tiger from this weeks lineup will be disappointing to his many fans in this part of the world, but we reluctantly have to respect his decision not to compete. However, we are sure they are as pleased as us that he has already committed to our tournament in 2004.
Reportedly, Woods receives an appearance fee of over $2 million to play in the event.
Lonard Closing in on Goals
Australian Peter Lonard is a man on a mission. And it appears that he is progressing quite well toward those goals.
At the start of the year, I sat down and thought about my aims, he said. Id like to get into the top 15 in the world. Im going in the right direction.
Officials Pleased with Tournament
Michael Garten, tournament director of the WCG-Accenture Match Play Championship, is thrilled with the 2003 event. Having Tiger Woods in the match play finals was an added bonus.
No question about it, he said. I think that anyone who works in professional golf, especially from an event management perspective, is always going to be excited to see Tiger play.
Speculation centered on the event moving after last year when La Costas contract with the tournament expired. However, a new multiyear pact has been signed.
Toms Becomes Brother-in-Law
David Toms sister, Tracy, was married Saturday as Toms was finishing off Lonard in the semifinal match.
The wedding was held in Denton, La. I wish I was at the wedding, but Im in a good spot right now, said Toms.
Toms had missed the cut in the two events he played prior to the Accenture and didnt believe he would make it to Saturday ' or Sundays ' play.