Serving as both host and defending champion for an event that benefits the foundation bearing his name, Tiger Woods appears to have answered any questions about how personally invested he is in this week's World Challenge.
After last year's installment that saw the 14-time major champion record a breakthrough victory, the event was left without a title sponsor. When negotiations with a prospective new title sponsor fell through earlier this fall, Woods added $4 million of his own money to join with presenting sponsor Northwestern Mutual in covering the tournament's expenses, according to a report from the Associated Press.
'Northwestern Mutual made a significant contribution as a presenting sponsor, but it left a shortfall,' said Greg McLaughlin, president of the Tiger Woods Foundation. 'Tiger stepped up. Tiger's direct contributions are making up that shortfall.'
Since its inception in 1999, the World Challenge has raised $25 million for the Tiger Woods Foundation, including prize money Woods himself has donated. A five-time winner of the event, Woods donates the prize money won from each event that benefits his foundation - the AT&T National, Deutsche Bank Championship and World Challenge - a sum that now stands at $14.2 million according to the report.
Speaking at a pro-am dinner Wednesday, Woods emphasized the importance of this week's event.
'This is what started it all for us,' he noted according to the report. 'It's important to me to help these people and give these kids a chance.'