Out of golf for five months until the Masters, Tiger Woods is waiting only two weeks to tee it up again.
Woods announced Thursday he will play the Quail Hollow Championship, which begins April 29. It will be his first time playing at a tournament where tickets are sold to the general public since his spectacular downfall from a sex scandal.
Woods tied for fourth last week at the Masters, which has the most controlled gallery in golf. Weekly badges are secured months in advance, and fans fear losing them if caught showing poor etiquette. Woods received warm applause when he teed off in the first round, and the support was steady throughout the week.
The early commitment was a sign that Woods plans to be helpful to the promotion of tournaments. He had been criticized over the years for waiting until the last day to announce he was playing, except for tournaments to which he had a sponsorship connection.
“It’s going to be a huge benefit for the people who have been waiting to buy tickets,” tournament director Kym Hougham said. “Ironically, our Saturday daily tickets sold out yesterday. Friday and Sunday are not far behind, so this will probably put us over the top, which we’re excited about. The economy has made people change their buying habits and people are waiting longer.”
Woods has played the Quail Hollow Championship four times, winning in 2007. He finished fourth last year, two shots behind Sean O’Hair.