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Tiger Woods names strong field for World Challenge

Tournament host Tiger Woods has announced a strong field featuring five of the world’s top 10 players for the year-ending Chevron World Challenge.

The 16-man line-up includes Fiji’s Vijay Singh (ranked third), British Open and PGA champion Padraig Harrington of Ireland (fourth), Americans Anthony Kim (sixth) and Jim Furyk (10th) and Colombian Camilo Villegas (seventh).

World number one Woods, however, will be a conspicuous absentee from the field, having shut down his 2008 campaign in mid-June after winning the U.S. Open to have reconstructive knee surgery.

“Unfortunately I can’t play that incredible golf course,” the 14-times major winner said during a teleconference on Monday. “I can only cheer from the sidelines in a cart.

“So it will be a different kind of week for me, a lot of eating, a lot of sitting in there and grubbing.”

Asked how his rehabilitation was going, the 32-year-old American replied: “No matter how much you try and do, you really can’t speed up that process.

“That puts me into January. And unfortunately, I can’t rotate; I can’t practise on that leg until then. That’s just a natural healing process of any ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), for the graft to take.

“As far as getting back next year, I’m really focused on trying to get my body healthy for so that I can compete at a high level and get to where I can compete down the stretch in events again.”

Woods, a four-times winner of his own tournament, was delighted with the quality of this year’s field.

“Hosting the 10th year of this tournament is special,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to being back in Southern California to watch this stellar field compete.”

The $5.75 million event will be held at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California from Dec. 18-21.

Proceeds from the invitational event go toward Tiger Woods Foundation projects and the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim.

The full field is: Singh, Villegas, Kim, Steve Stricker, Furyk, Harrington, Fred Couples, Paul Casey, Boo Weekley, Hunter Mahan, K.J. Choi, Kenny Perry, Justin Leonard, Mike Weir, Luke Donald and Stephen Ames.


September 30, 2008

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