Assistant police commissioner Jon White said the threats were directed at the tournament, rather than Tiger Woods, who is scheduled to compete. White was quoted in the Associated Press as saying, It was clear the threats had been made because Woods, the worlds No. 1 golfer, was playing.
He also confirmed that a small amount of cyanide was in a letter mailed in New Zealand and received by the embassy in December.
'The U.S. Embassy has been cooperating fully with the New Zealand police on this matter,' the embassy said in a statement. 'We are confident that appropriate steps are being taken. In the interests of security and not wanting to prejudice the investigation in any way, we are unable to comment further.'
David Pool, managing director of Promotor Open 2000 Ltd - which has reportedly dished out $2 million to lure Woods to the event - told the Golf Channel late Saturday that they have been in touch with Woods' camp.
'We're in contact with management,' he said. 'They are aware of the increased security measures. They are comfortable with the level of security.'
However, Woods agent, Mark Steinberg of International Management Group, told the AP he was not made aware of the letter.
This is just another in a string of events which has plagued this tournament. A furor rose when ticket prices were substantially increased in order to offset Woods' appearance fee.
Ticket sales have continued to sag in the wake of atrocious weather in recent weeks.
Woods is in Hawaii for the Mercedes Championships. He was not available for comment Saturday, having left the course after shooting a 1-over 74. Woods originally said he plans to leave for the New Zealand tournament as soon as he finished the final round Sunday in Kapalua.
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