TIGER WOODS has been confirmed as a starter in the 2011 Australian Open at The Lakes Golf Course in Sydney.
The NSW Government made the announcement today but has refused to say how much he will be paid.
Woods will join defending champion Geoff Ogilvy, Presidents Cup captains Greg Norman and Fred Couples, and fellow American stars Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson.
The Open will be played in Sydney the week before the Presidents Cup in Melbourne.
No doubt Woods, who has slipped to 28th in the world golf rankings this week, will be hoping to get a start at Royal Melbourne, one way or another.
Unless he has a rapid form improvement – he hasn’t won anywhere since taking the Australian Masters title in 2009 – he will be relying on Couples to choose him as one of his two captain’s picks.
Woods is a lowly 26 in the US team standings. The top ten are automatic selections and there are the two captain selections.
Following his recent injury problems, Woods will be back in action at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, this week and is also a likely starter at the US PGA Championship next week.
“I’m excited to get back out there,” Woods said on his website a couple of days ago.
The former world No.1 was quoted today as saying he was very much looking forward to playing in the Australian Open in Sydney.
“I’m very excited to be competing in the Australian Open,” he said. “I haven’t played in the tournament since 1996, and I’m anxious to return. I have a great affinity for playing golf in Australia and I’m looking forward to competing against an outstanding field at The Lakes in Sydney.”
Woods will no doubt be a huge drawcard in Sydney and with the Cup the following week and the likes of Darren Clarke and Jason Day at the Australian PGA Championship at Coolum the week after it will be a very exciting time for Australian golf.