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Tiger Woods to return to Buick Open

Tiger Woods is coming back to the Buick Open, and defending champion Rocco Mediate couldn't be more pleased.

``There might be some players who would rather play in the tournaments that Tiger skips, but I'm not one of them,'' Mediate said Monday. ``I think most of the best players out there want to play against Tiger, because he lifts our games.

``We know that we can't compete with him over a span of 10 or 15 years. No one can do that, but in a given week, we can beat him.''

Mediate, who beat Chris Perry by one shot to win last year's tournament, was the featured speaker at Monday's media day at Warwick Hills, but the big announcement was about Woods.

``We're very pleased to announce that Tiger has confirmed that the 2001 Buick Open is on his schedule on events to play,'' said Tony Derhake, director of golf for Buick. ``That's subject to change, because he hasn't officially committed with the tour yet, but we talked to him in the last few days, and he is definitely planning to play here again this year.''

Woods has an endorsement deal with Buick and has played in the tournament several times in recent years. Last year, he finished tied for 11th, seven shots behind Mediate. Woods then won the PGA Championship a week later.

Other than Mediate and Woods, the early entry list includes Tom Lehman, Jose Maria Olazabal and former Buick Open winners Tom Pernice, Jr., Billy Mayfair and Woody Austin.


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