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Tiger Woods to get Thai doctorate award

Kasetsart university will give Tiger Woods a honorary doctorate of philosophy in sports science to honour his talents and excellence in golf, a university representative said yesterday.

Woods has agreed to accept the degree from the university, said assistant professor Wallee Phattarophas of the university's department of sports science.

Woods, whose mother Kulthida is Thai, will be in Thailand this month to play in the 10th Johnnie Walker Classic tournament to be held at the Alpine course in Bangkok on November 16-19.

He will compete with about 156 other players from the European, Australian and Asian tours and leading players from the Asian region.

Wallee said the degree presentation will take place at Shangri-La Hotel in Bangkok on November 14.

"The degree is to honour his talent and excellence in playing golf," said assistant professor Wallee.

The appearance of Woods, the world number one golfer and a national hero in Thailand, is expected to boost the country's reputation as a golfing destination for foreigners. He is also expected to draw huge local crowds and media attention.

In 1998, Woods staged one of his greatest comebacks in Thailand, making up an eight-stroke deficit on the final day to beat Ernie Els in a playoff in this event in Phuket.

This year, Woods may find himself in the middle of a Thai political feud as he will be playing in the Alpine Golf Course, which is linked to Thaksin Shinawatra, who aspires to the prime minister's job.

The government is looking into accusations that Thaksin indirectly owns the golf course in violation of asset disclosure laws.




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