Tiger commits to CIMB Classic in Malaysia
By Stephanie Wei under Tiger Woods

Happy Tiger

It was announced on Monday in Malaysia that Tiger Woods will play in the CIMB Classic,  limited-field event featuring PGA Tour and Asian Tour players, on Oct. 25-28 at The Mines Resort in Kuala Lumpur. This will be Tiger’s first trip back to Malaysia since 1999 when he won the individual and team World Cup titles.

With the dramatic change to starting the PGA Tour season in the fall instead of the calendar year, the event in Malaysia will become an official event. Details via the AP:

The CIMB Classic began two years ago as little more than a limited-field exhibition that featured PGA Tour players and Asian Tour players. It will become a full-fledged PGA Tour event starting in 2013, when the tour begins its new season in October after the FedEx Cup competition.

The tournament this year features a 48-man field — 30 from the PGA Tour, 10 from the Asian Tour and eight exemptions — competing for $6.1 million. When it becomes part of the 2013-14 tour schedule, the CIMB Classic will have at least a 78-man field and a $7 million purse.

Ben Crane and Bo Van Pelt, the previous two winners of the event, also made early commitments.

Tiger is likely to have a very busy schedule from now through October (join the club). It’s possible he will make starts in 10 of the next 14 weeks, but according to ESPN’s Bob Harig, Woods will skip the WGC-HSBC Champions, which he’s played in since it received WGC status in 2009:

He has committed to play in a new event called the Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals, Oct. 9-12, just over a week after the Ryder Cup. He said he also considered playing a European Tour event in Shanghai called the BMW Masters before opting for the Malaysia tournament the same week.

After the CIMB Classic, Woods said, “I’m going to go to China for a day (for corporate activities), then head back on home and get a little bit of a break. & I’ve got the Turkey event, and then I’ll take a little break there and then again after the World Challenge (in December).”

Turkey and Malaysia are pretty much silly season events — otherwise known as cash grabs. I have a hunch Woods is following the money.

(AP Photo/Phil Long)