Tiger Woods’ annual World Challenge event that hosts his player-friends and benefits his foundation will relocate from southern California to central Florida in 2014. Going forward, the exhibition will be played at Isleworth, where Woods used to live and call his home course (and the site of his infamous fire hydrant accident), according to ESPN.com’s Bob Harig:
The tournament will have an association with the Tavistock Group, which owns the course and has sponsored a long-time event known as the Tavistock Cup, a 36-hole exhibition. Both Woods’ and Tavistock’s foundations will benefit.
“We have a longstanding relationship with Tavistock Group and my friend, Joe Lewis, and I am thrilled to see it grow in support of our foundations,” Woods said in a statement. “… I’m looking forward to this next phase of the World Challenge and what it can bring to Florida.”
While Woods has lived in Jupiter since 2011, the move is a tad surprising (though I’m not complaining — I can actually cover it now without flying cross-country) because Tiger is a native Californian and grew up in nearby Cypress, not to mention his foundation is located in Irvine. Tiger and his late father Earl Woods proffered the event in the late ’90s as a means to raise money for the TWF. After holding it for one year in Scottsdale, the exhibition moved to Sherwood.
Sounds like the relocation is largely due to financially circumstances. Northwestern Mutual is the title sponsor of the World Challenge this year, but it signed only a one-year deal.
The move to Isleworth, so far, is for one year, which means other Tavistock venues, including Lake Nona in Orlando or even properties in the Bahamas, could be used to stage the event in the future.
“We’ve got a multiyear contract with Tavistock Group and we’re committed to have that event at Isleworth in 2014,” said Greg McLaughlin, the president and CEO of the Tiger Woods Foundation. “We will then review and evaluate beyond that. We haven’t done any planning beyond 2014. We’re obviously focused on this year.”
Since 2009, the World Challenge has awarded OWGR points. Tiger has won the event five times.