Notebook: Woods puts Honda Classic on schedule for first time in 19 years

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After disappointing finish at Pebble Beach, Tiger Wood will play the upcoming Honda Classic, the PGA Tour event closest to his new home in south Florida.
By news services

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 | 2:37 p.m.

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Tiger Woods is returning to the Honda Classic for the first time since he was an amateur.

Woods announced on his website Tuesday that he would play the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship next week in Arizona, followed by the Honda Classic and the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.

The Honda Classic is March 1-4 at PGA National, and is the PGA Tour event closest to his new home in south Florida.

It’s the second time this year Woods has added a tournament not typically on his schedule. He played the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am last week for the first time in 10 years, closing with a 75 to plummet from contention.

Woods played the Honda Classic in 1993 as a 17-year-old, when it was held at Weston Hills. He had rounds of 72-78 and missed the cut.

NEW CADDIE FOR CLARKE: British Open champion Darren Clarke is taking on Phil Morbey as his new caddie on a temporary basis, as he tries to halt a run of poor results since his win at Royal St. George’s.
The 43-year-old Northern Irishman has not had a top-10 result since last July’s British Open victory, and fired caddie John Mulrooney after the recent Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

After approaching Englishman Danny Willett, he will “borrow” Morbey for a three-week run of events in the United States, starting with next week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona.
Morbey has 41 victories to his credit, including 24 with Welshman Ian Woosnam.

“Darren and I go back a long way, so I’ve known him for ages and I’m looking forward to the three-week spell,” he said.

BIG EVENT IN SOUTH AFRICA: The International Federation of PGA Tours has sanctioned a new event, the Tournament of Hope, in South Africa beginning in late 2013.  The federation – an organization of the world’s top pro golf tours – also sanctions the World Golf Championships, but this won’t be considered a WGC event.

The $8.5 million Tournament of Hope will be the centerpiece of a worldwide awareness effort to be undertaken by southern Africa’s Sunshine Tour to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in Africa and globally. The promoters also will organize other awareness functions in South Africa and around the world during the week of the tournament.

The first edition of the event is set for Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 2013. Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day, and the tournament will be staged on similar dates in future years.

Players will qualify for the event as they do for the World Golf Championships, based primarily on the Official World Golf Ranking and supplemented by the individual money lists of the various tours that make up the federation. The European Tour has already confirmed that prize money will count toward the 2014 Race to Dubai.

The Tournament of Hope will be the sixth worldwide event sanctioned by the federation, joining the four World Golf Championships – Accenture Match Play Championship, Cadillac Championship, Bridgestone Invitational and HSBC Champions – and the World Cup.