Despite reports, Woods not officially playing in Turkey

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. – Despite reports from a U.K. newspaper that claims Tiger Woods will compete in the Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals in October, his agent Mark Steinberg denied that a commitment has been reached.

“Obviously I saw some of the reports this morning,” Steinberg said. “They’re trying to put a special event together that’s been in discussion for a couple of months. I think we’re close, but not 100 percent confirmed.”

According to the reports – confirmed by Steinberg – the brainchild of Europe-based agent Chubby Chandler would include eight players plucked from the Official World Golf Ranking, competing for a $5.3 million purse. Others cited in the initial report from the Daily Mail include Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood.

Rumors have also circulated that Turkish Airlines would serve as a sponsor for Woods himself, but Steinberg maintained that is premature.

“That’s in its very embryonic stages right now,” he said. “I think Turkish Airlines is a very substantial event sponsor. Have there been some discussions? Yes, but it’s in the early stages.”

As currently scheduled, the Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals would coincide with the Frys.com Open on the PGA Tour, an event in which Woods competed last year.

“He enjoyed Frys quite a bit,” Steinberg continued. “John Fry is a very good man and the Frys organization is great. I advised them that there was a possibility there’s a special event going on in Turkey that week. Tiger endeavors to give back to Frys in the future.”

As for competing in an unofficial overseas tournament instead of a PGA Tour event, Steinberg cited his client’s commitment to playing new and different places on the schedule already this year, including this week’s Greenbrier Classic.

“I think he’s shown that he’s lived up to his commitment to Tim [Finchem],” he said of the PGA Tour commissioner. “Tim said, ‘I want you to play one more tournament per year.’ He’s gone above and beyond that.'