An Australian newspaper, the Herald Sun, is reporting that Tiger Woods’ return to golf may be as soon as later this month to play in the Accenture Match Play Championship in Tucson, Ariz. The paper only quotes as its sources of this information "strengthening whispers."
Reacting to the story, the Arizona Daily Star quotes Wade Dunagan, executive director of the Match Play event, as saying: "We don’t know anything officially yet, but wouldn’t that be nice? It would mean we’d get Tiger on his return two years in a row. Very cool."
Dunagan is referring to the fact that Woods chose the Match Play event last year as his first golf tournament after he had been out for a number of months due to surgery.
If Woods does indeed make his return in the tournament, it would most likely be a ratings windfall for both Comcast’s Golf Channel and NBC. The Golf Channel has exclusive coverage of the tournament on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Feb. 17-19, and then splits coverage of the event on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 20 and 21, with NBC.
One of the ironies of Woods’ picking the Accenture sponsored tournament as his first one since the Woods sex scandal broke would be that Accenture is one of the companies that dropped Woods as an endorser.
Woods has a long history with the Match Play tourney. It was Woods’ idea to move the tournament to the Jack Nicklaus-designed course at the Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain Golf Club in Tucson after a few years of bad weather during the tourney at its old home at the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, Calif., according to the official website of the tournament.