Florida Swing Starts at Doral


The PGA Tour swings south to Florida for the first of four consecutive events in the Sunshine State.
The $4.7 million Genuity Championship kick starts the Florida Swing. Joe Durant is the defending champion, but its a late entry who will be the primary focus of attention.
Tiger Woods, ousted in the opening round of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, made an 11th-hour decision to join the field in Miami, Fla. It will be just the second time Woods has competed at this event, held at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa.
Tiger tied for ninth in 1998, sticking a fairway bunker shot to a foot for his finale.
The worlds No. 1 ranked player joins an impressive field of 145 that includes: David Duval, Sergio Garcia, Davis Love III, Jesper Parnevik, Vijay Singh, Charles Howell III and Mike Weir.
Ty Tryon will make his second start of the season. He missed the cut in Phoenix, and failed to Monday qualify at the Nissan. Tryon, 17, can receive seven sponsors exemptions before he turns 18 on June 2. The Orlando high school junior will also compete in the Honda Classic and the Bay Hill Invitational.
Greg Norman will tee it up for the first time since the WGC-NEC Invitational in August. Norman, 47, renounced his PGA Tour membership last year, but will make select appearances. He won this tournament in 1990, 93 and 96.
Woods is coming off a disappointing West Coast swing. He tied for 10th at the Mercedes Championships, tied for 12th at Pebble Beach, tied for fifth in the Buick Invitational, and lost 2-and-1 to Peter OMalley at La Costa.
Woods will be seeking his first tour victory since the NEC ' eight starts ago.
Durant made the 2001 Genuity Championship his second victory in as many starts. After winning the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in record fashion, Durant overcame a four-shot deficit with a 7-under 65 to cruise to a two-stroke victory over Weir.
What Ive done this year is beyond anything Ive thought about, said Durant, who also gained a spot in the Masters Tournament with his victory.
Durant went on to record his career best season on tour, finishing the year with nearly $2.4 million in earnings. However, it was pretty much downhill after Doral.
Including this season, Durant has missed 11 cuts in his last 17 medal-play starts. He also lost to Paul McGinley 5-and-4 in the first round of the Match Play Championship.
To make matters worse, defending champions havent fared well lately on tour. The trend actually started with Durant missing the cut at the Hope. That led to four consecutive missed cuts by defending champions. Robert Allenby survived to the weekend in the Nissan Open two weeks ago, but 2001 Match Play winner Steve Stricker lost in the first round last week.
Full field and tee times for the Genuity Championship