Aug
29
2011
Tiger to Play His First-Ever Fall Series Event
By Stephanie Wei under Fall Series

Wait, where's the Frys.com Open?

Tiger Woods announced on his website Monday that he’s committed to play in the Frys.com Open at CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, Calif., the first week of October. It will represent his first start at the event, along with his first appearance in the Fall Series (which has been in existence for five years). Via TigerWoods.com:

“I always enjoy competing in my home state, and this tournament fits my schedule perfectly,” Woods said. “I’m looking forward to seeing some old friends.”

“John Fry and his company have supported the tour, and I’ve heard good things about the event and the golf course,” Woods said. “One of my goals this year was to participate in a tournament I hadn’t played before, and now, I will.”

“Any time Rocco is in the field, it’s always fun…It’s been a long time between the PGA and Frys, and I’ll be anxious to compete.”

Chances Tiger will be paired with defending champ Rocco Mediate? Oh, probably pretty good.

Last week Tiger noted the possibility of adding another event to his schedule because of his limited starts this season due to injuries to his left leg. He only competed in eight PGA Tour events after spending almost four months away from competition, notwithstanding his cameo at The Players in May before withdrawing.

It’s hard not to speculate that Tiger’s unprecedented move doesn’t have anything to do with US Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples saying Tiger needed to play more if he wanted to be a captain’s pick. Two weeks ago, Couples said: “He can’t just show up the week before in Australia. I’m the captain, and he wants to be on the team. This is my chance to hold my rank above him one time.”

Then last week at the Champions Tour event, Fred told reporters he had already told Tiger, who is 28th in Presidents Cup points standings (top ten earn spot on 12-man squad, with two more players added under the discretion of the captain), that he was on the team, saying, “He’s the best player in the world forever.”

Which caused quite a bit of controversy considering the points don’t close until September 26th, and traditionally, the captain’s picks aren’t officially announced until then.

Will adding one extra event suffice? Well, playing in one was already revolutionary for Tiger (though it shouldn’t be at this point), so I never expected him to enter in more than the minimum required or suggested by Couples.

And were you surprised by which tournament he chose? Well, it shouldn’t have been — Duke Butler is the event consultant and a former PGA Tour business executive who came out of retirement in 2007 to lend a hand in launching the AT&T National, which supports the Tiger Woods Foundation, according to the AP.

I expected he’d play the Disney since it’s conveniently only a few hours drive from his new home in Jupiter Island and it was a regular stop on his schedule before it became a Fall Series event. Others guessed he’d pick Justin Timberlake’s tournament because of his ties to Vegas nightlife the Las Vegas Invitational was his first professional victory — I mean, we all know Tiger is so sentimental!

Well, I think we can all agree Tiger’s decision to enter the Frys.com Open is great for all parties involved. Plus, now at least one event in what’s been dubbed as golf’s “silly season” will no longer be considered so silly this year.

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)