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Woods Taking it Easy, Pressure Mounting for Play against Sorenstam

Woods Taking it Easy, Pressure Mounting for Play against Sorenstam

Posted May. 08, 2003 22:10,   


When will Tiger Woods come back and join the U.S. PGA Tour? Will Woods and Annika Sorenstam have a "bout" at all?

Since the Masters last month, Woods has skipped four PGA championships. Golf fans are dying to see him on the green, but Woods does not seem to be budging.

All throughout last month, Woods acted like a retired big shot, doing "non-major" things only. On April 18, for example, he appeared at a groundbreaking ceremony for a non-profit foundation he himself set up. He also continued various appearances at ceremonies hosted by the Tiger Woods Foundation. He also kept himself busy shooting commercials for big corporations like American Express, Buick and Nike which pay hundreds of millions of dollars to him every year.

Woods however, is expected to play in the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open from May 15 to 18. It is, of course, not a PGA Tour championship. But the Open guarantees Woods more than two million dollars and he himself won the championship last year. Thus, it is a must for Woods to participate.

Another PGA Tour championship will be held during the same period, amounting to five PGA championships without Woods. Previously, Woods also skipped five due to a knee operation he received early this season.

The U.S. PGA Tour Colonial will take place next week. At the championship, fans will expect Sorenstam and Woods to take each other on though Woods, however, has not made any comment. Woods usually takes two to three weeks off after participation in any overseas championship so if he holds true, he is unlikely to play in the upcoming event. In addition, beating Sorenstam does not get Woods anything. With nothing to earn however, Woods does not seem that eager to play against his opposite challenger.

American golf experts believe the odds of the Woods v. Sorenstam bout is 50/50. Some say their mutual management agency IMG is trying hard to make the event take place.

If Woods and Sorenstam do play in the same group, it will be marked as one of the top ten golf news events of the year.

Young-Sik Ahn ysahn@donga.com