World number one golfer Tiger Woods of the United States will become host of an official PGA Tour event that will debut in Washington this coming July. VOA Sports Editor Parke Brewer has details.
Just months after the nation's capital was dropped from the PGA Tour schedule for lack of a major sponsor for its annual event that was usually held in early June, the Tiger Woods Foundation reached a long-term agreement to be the host organization and beneficiary of a PGA tournament in the Washington, D.C. area the first week of July.
It will coincide with America's Independence Day holiday on July 4. That week on the U.S. golf calendar became available when the PGA's International, played outside Denver, Colorado, was unable to get a title sponsor. AT&T, a premier communications holding company in the United States and around the world, is the title sponsor for Tiger's event, and the tournament will be called the AT&T National.
The site is yet to be determined, but it will likely be at Congressional Country Club in suburban Maryland.
Tiger Woods told a packed news conference in Washington that this is a dream come true.
"My focus and my goal one day, with my father, was to be able to host an event on the PGA Tour," he said. "And this is a pretty momentous day for us because we are lucky enough to have the opportunity to do that. I just wish my father could have been here to see it."
Tiger's father died of cancer last year. Earl Woods was in the U.S. military, and Tiger has decided to do something special for those in the armed forces.
"During the tournament, anyone who is in active duty will get free admission to our tournament," he added. "It's something that I think is very important. They put their lives on the line so that we are able to enjoy the lives that we have today and the freedoms that we are able to enjoy."
Tiger added that all children under the age of 12 will also be admitted free to the golf tournament and he hopes the crowd will have a family-type atmosphere.
And key to the new tournament is that it will raise money for the Tiger Woods Foundation to build a new children's learning center somewhere along the eastern seaboard. There is already one out west.
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem says he is excited that the nation's capital will be getting what will surely be a popular tournament.
"We've talked for a number of years about how to get a premier situation here in Washington and right now we have an incredible, positive thing," he said.
As for Tiger's participation in his tournament, he says he plans on playing. However, his first child is due in July and he wants to be on hand for the birth, so there is a chance he may miss the inaugural event.