Woods eyes emotional Sherwood farewell

Thu Dec 5, 2013 4:54pm EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

THOUSAND OAKS, California (Reuters) - Tiger Woods has prepared for an emotional Sunday when his World Challenge golf tournament, which has raised over $25 million for his foundation, will end a successful run of 14 years in California.

Every December, an elite field has assembled at the picturesque Sherwood Country Club, nestled in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, to compete in the Woods-hosted event which will relocate to Florida for next year.

"Fourteen years here and it's been absolutely incredible," world number one Woods told Reuters as he reflected on the tournament's run in California after the inaugural edition was staged at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1999.

"The members, the board and all the volunteers have come out over the years through rain and wind, we've even had sleet here before, as well as perfect sunshine.

"And all the players who have supported it over the years, we wouldn't have had the opportunity to design and develop our learning centers without this event. It is going to be an emotional Sunday for sure."

Asked why the event was shifting next year to Isleworth Country Club outside Orlando in Florida, Woods replied: "The global golf schedule has changed so dramatically with the FedExCup, the Race to Dubai and guys playing pretty late in the year, they are worn out and they don't want to travel any more.

"A lot of the Aussie players go down to support Oz and it's hard to get a lot of South Africans to come up and play in this event as they support their own tour at this time of the year.

"A lot of the guys at this event here are based in Florida, so it just makes it a little bit easier for us to draw fields like we have now. With the guys who are based in Florida, you're not asking them to fly across the country."   Continued...

Tiger Woods of the U.S. looks at his iPhone after using it to take a picture of playing partner Mark O'Meara on the 10th green, during a practice round for the 2010 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, April 6, 2010. REUTERS/Hans Deryk