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Tiger no, Monty yes to Andersen Consulting

Colin Montgomerie, here lining up a putt at the Smurfit European Open, has confirmed he'll be at the WGC Andersen Consulting Matchplay event in Melbourne. Allsport.

Tiger Woods won't be playing in the Match Play Championships Jan. 3-7 in Melbourne, Australia - but world No. 3 Colin Montgomerie will be there.

Montgomerie said Thursday he would compete in the Andersen Consulting tournament. He had not been expected to play in Melbourne because of the starting date.

Lee Westwood and Greg Norman are among others who do not intend to take part.

Montgomerie said he and his family would go to Barbados for Christmas and New Year's and he would leave there for Melbourne on Dec. 29-30 and return to Barbados after the event.

Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland, who won this year by beating Woods in the final when the event was played in California at the end of February, has said he will defend the title.

Woods confirmed on Wednesday he would skip the event.

``I have a pretty hectic schedule at the end of the year. I believe I'm playing eight straight weeks,'' he said before reeling off a list of tournaments. ``Presidents Cup. Disney. Tour Championship. Valderrama. Thailand. Grand Slam. Williams World Challenge and World Cup.

``All around the world,'' he added. ``So that's a long trip.''

Only the top 64 players in the world are invited to the match play event, which is sponsored by Andersen Consulting. The event will lose some of its luster without Woods, who humbled the rest of the field with his 15-stroke victory at the U.S. Open last month, and he said he's already herd about it from PGA Tour officials.

``Everyone's spoken to me about it,'' he said. ``That's the way it goes sometimes. But I'm not the only one, though.''


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