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Top players head to Target World Challenge

Tournament host Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and defending champion Davis Love III head a field of 16 of the greatest players in the world in the sixth annual Target World Challenge presented by Williams (TWC) at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Dec. 8-12. The Tournament benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation.

Of the 16 players in the Tournament field, 11 are players who competed in the 2004 Ryder Cup at Oakland Hill Golf Club- Woods, Love, Padraig Harrington, Colin Montgomerie, Chad Campbell, Miguel Jimenez, Stewart Cink, Chris DiMarco, Jim Furyk, Jay Haas, Kenny Perry. Others in the field include fan favorites John Daly and Fred Couples, along with 2004 British Open champion Todd Hamilton and Stephen Ames, the first Touring professional to emerge from Trinidad & Tobago.

Players qualified for the field as the defending champion (Love) and the top 11 players from the Official World Rankings as of Oct. 3, 2004 who accepted invitations. In addition, the Tiger Woods Foundation selected four (4) special exemptions. The winner of the US$5.2 million, 72-hole stroke-play event will receive US$1.2 million.

Players who qualified based on their Official World Ranking as of Oct. 3 are Singh (1), Harrington (8), Stewart Cink (9), Jim Furyk (12), Chris DiMarco (14), Chad Campbell (16), Kenny Perry (17), Hamilton (18), Miguel Angel Jimenez (19), and Stephen Ames (20). Daly, Couples, Jay Haas and Colin Montgomerie received special exemptions to complete the 16-player field.

"I'm looking forward to playing this strong field on such a challenging course," Tiger Woods said. "I hope this will be another great show for the fans that also brings attention to our Tournament beneficiaries, Start Something and the Tiger Woods Learning Center."

With a closing round of 8-under-64, Love became the first two-time winner of the Target World Challenge. One of only three players to have played in the event every year - the others are Woods and Singh - Love earned US$1.2 million for the victory. His other victory was in 2000. Love is the all-time leading money winner in the Target World Challenge with US$2,910,000.

Woods, the No. 3-ranked player in the world, has one victory (2001), three runner-up finishes and a 10th place in the Target World Challenge. He is the event's second leading all-time money winner with US$2,830,000. He has been golf's most dominant player since turning pro in 1996. Last year, he won the PGA Tour Player of the Year award for an unprecedented fifth time in a row. He has won 40 times on the PGA Tour, including eight major championships - three Masters Tournaments, two U.S. Opens, two PGA Championships and one British Open.

Fiji's Singh has taken over the mantle as the No. 1-ranked player in the world. He has already earned US$9,455,566 to set a single-season money record and is about to win his second consecutive PGA Tour money title. Singh, a four-time winner last year, has won eight times this year, including the PGA Championship for his third major championship - he also won the 2000 Masters and the 1998 PGA Championship. A world-class player, Singh has won Tournaments in 13 different countries - Malaysia, France, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Spain, Germany, England, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan and the United States.

Ireland's Harrington shot a course-record 9-under-par 63 in the third round and held off Woods to win the Target World Challenge in 2002. One of the most consistent players in the world, Harrington has been among the top 11 players on the Volvo Order of Merit eight times. He holds the No. 8 spot on the world rankings and the No. 5 position on the European Tour's Volvo Order of Merit, with two victories and more than €1.5 million in earnings this season.

Cink will be playing in the event for the second time. He is a four-time winner on the PGA Tour, including two victories this year in the MCI Heritage and the WGC-NEC Invitational. He is currently No. 5 on the PGA Tour money list with US$4,344,670.

Furyk will be playing in the event for the third time. The 2003 U.S. Open champion is a nine-time winner on the PGA Tour and is considered one of golf's finest putters. He underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage damage in his left wrist on March 22, which sidelined him for nearly three months.

DiMarco will be playing in the Tournament for the third year in a row. He finished 7th in 2003 and tied for 10th last year. A three-time winner on the PGA Tour, DiMarco has played his best golf this year in major championships. He tied for second at the PGA Championship, tied for 6th at the Masters Tournament and tied for 9th at the U.S. Open.

Campbell will be playing in the event for the first time. He is a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, including the Tour Championship in 2003. This year, he won the Bay Hill Invitational and has 9 top-25 finishes in 25 starts.

Perry made his debut in the Target World Challenge last year and finished 15th. He is a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour who had his best year in 2003 when he won three times. This year his best finish was a tie for third in the PLAYERS Championship.

Hamilton, the reigning British Open champion, will be competing at Sherwood Country Club for the first time. A professional since 1987, Hamilton posted 14 international victories before earning his first PGA Tour card in 2003. In his first full year on the PGA Tour, he has two victories and eight top-25 finishes in 26 starts.

Spain's Jimenez, one of the top players on the European Tour, will be making his debut in the event. A three-time winner this year, Jimenez was a key member of Europe's victorious Ryder Cup team in 2004. One of seven brothers, he worked as a caddie as a youngster and didn't take up the game until he was 15.

Ames, who was born in Trinidad and lives in Canada, will be a first-time player in the Tournament. At age 40, he won his first PGA Tour event this year at the Cialis Western Open to become the first 40-and-over player to win for the first time since Brad Bryant in 1995. He is the first Touring professional to emerge from Trinidad & Tobago. He has earned US$3,014,679 this year to rank ninth on the PGA Tour money list.

A 15-time winner on the PGA Tour, Couples is the 27th-ranked player in the world. The winner of the 1992 Masters Tournament will play in the Target World Challenge for the fourth time. This year, he finished second at the Memorial Tournament and has eight top-25 finishes in 16 starts.

Daly, one of golf's most popular players, will be making his debut in the Target World Challenge. The winner of five PGA Tour events, including two major championships - the 1991 PGA Championship and the 1995 British Open - is the 38th-ranked player in the world. This year he has one victory (Buick Invitational) and five top-10 finishes in 19 starts.

Haas, who will turn 51 on December 2, will be the oldest player in the field. Introduced to golf by his uncle, 1968 Masters champion Bob Goalby, Haas has been one of the sport's most consistent performers during a 24-year career. He has nine victories and has played on three Ryder Cup teams. He has played on both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour this year.

Scotland's Montgomerie was Europe's most dominating player during the decade of the '90s. The winner of 29 European titles, he set a record by winning seven consecutive Order of Merit titles for yearly earnings from 1993-1999. During that stretch, he was the European Player of the Year four times. He has received accolades for his leadership qualities on and off the course, particularly as a Ryder Cup player for the European team. In seven Ryder Cup matches, he is unbeaten in singles (5-0-2) and has an overall record of 19-8-5.

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