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Tiger to Begin PGA Tour Season at Pebble Beach
Tiger Woods will make his first PGA Tour appearance of the year at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. The former "Crosby Clambake" will be held February 9-12.
"I'm excited to start my PGA Tour season at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am," Woods said on his website (www.tigerwoods.com). "AT&T is a great partner to my Foundation, and I'm looking forward to playing in this event. I haven't been to this tournament lately, but I have a lot of good memories at Pebble. It will be fun going back."
It will be Woods' first appearance in the event - which this year will feature a reduced 156-player field (from 180 pros and amateurs) - since 2002. Also this year, the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club will stay in the three-course rotation as a replacement to Poppy Hills GC, which suffered from poor drainage in years past. Woods was never a fan of Poppy Hills. Also involved are Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill.
Woods has enjoyed considerable success over the years on the Monterey Peninsula. He rallied from five strokes back to catch and pass Matt Gogel in the 2000 AT&T, and then four months later won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach by a record-setting 15 shots, finishing at 12-under 272.
In the past 10 years Woods has eschewed Pebble Beach and the AT&T, complaining of the soft, poa annua greens and the slow pace of play. But he has had a change of heart.
"It's always been one of my favorite spots," said Woods, who first saw Pebble Beach with his late father, Earl, when he was playing junior golf. "It might be the prettiest place on earth."
He's also eagerly anticipating playing the Shore Course, which underwent a major, highly acclaimed remodel by the late golf architect, Mike Strantz. "I've never played Monterey Peninsula and am looking forward to it," Woods said. "From all I've heard, it's a wonderful course and the greens are fast."
Instead of making his traditional season debut at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego, Woods will start the year at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, which will be held January 26-29 in the United Arab Emirates.
Woods ended the 2011 season in fine fashion, winning the Chevron World Challenge in early December at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., which halted his two-year winless drought. Prior to that long-awaited victory, in mid-November he scored the winning point in the American's 19-15 Presidents Cup triumph over the International squad at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
"It was great to finish 2011 strong. More importantly, it's good to be healthy again, and I'm hoping to get off to a fast start," said Woods, who starts 2012 hoping to add to his total of 96 worldwide victories, including 71 PGA Tour titles and 14 major championships.