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Tiger may miss World Match Play

Tiger Woods might miss the World Match Play championship because of a sponsorship commitment that conflicts with the Oct. 16-19 tournament.

Woods has played in the event only once, in 1998, when Mark O'Meara beat him 1-up in the final.

New sponsor HSBC bank took over the tournament in March and hoped Woods would lead a field of the top 12 ranked players at Wentworth.

But Woods, winner of last week's Western Open for the third time, has told organizers the dates pose a problem.

"He has not made a decision yet," HSBC spokesman Richard Beck said Tuesday. "We are very much in negotiations with IMG, Tiger and his team."

Woods has a "long-standing, nonplaying commitment" and has promised that if he can't play this year he would like to do so next year, he added.

This year's championship will offer the second-richest prize in golf, a winner's share of $1.56 million.

The field is based on performances in the four majors. Masters winner Mike Weir and U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk already have been offered places.


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