Woods suffered a disheartening 81 in the third round at Muirfield in blustery, rainy weather, dashing his Grand Slam hopes after he had won the Masters and the U.S. Open. However, he rebounded from the 81 to shoot a 65 in the fourth round, his last official score prior to this week. He would have tied Padraig Harrington for the low score for the tournament had the third round been thrown out.
Woods played the fourth annual Battle at Bighorn a week ago and birdied nine of the 16 holes played en route to a 3-and-2 victory with Jack Nicklaus over Sergio Garcia and Lee Trevino. Woods will leave Grand Blanc, home of the Buick, to play in the PGA Championship.
Warwick Hills (where the Buick Open is played) is always in excellent condition, and I have really enjoyed the Buick years, said Woods. This will be his fourth appearance at the event and first since 1999.
Buick, a commercial sponsor of Woods, is having an auction in which the high bidder will meet Woods at the Buick Scramble in Orlando in October. Also included in the auction, which ended July 26, was an opportunity to play with Woods at the 2003 Buick pro-am in San Diego ' or, if Woods skips that event, the next Buick-sponsored tournament in which Tiger plays.
Also included in the Buick Open field is Phil Mickelson, the worlds No. 2 player, and Ernie Els, the recent winner of the British Open.
We are very excited that Phil will be with us at the Buick Open this year, said Larry Peck, golf marketing manager for Buick. With Tiger, Phil, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen, we now have the top four ranked players in the world. Its going to be an incredible field.
Other additions to the 2002 Buick Open field include Jerry Kelly, Mike Weir, Hal Sutton, Lee Janzen, Jay Haas, J.L. Lewis, Mike Sposa, Nolan Henke and Brian Claar. Previous commitments include Jose Maria Olazabal, Buick Open defending champion Kenny Perry, Jim Furyk, Vijay Singh and 2001 PGA Championship winner David Toms.
Mickelson is solidly on top the all-around rankings, but second is Cameron Beckman. Woods ranks seventh.
PGA Tour Statistical Preview