Woods says he'll play new PGA Tour event in Japan
By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer
Masters champion Tiger Woods is adding to his international travels at the end of this year, announcing Wednesday night that he will compete in Japan for the first time in 13 years at the new Zozo Championship.
Woods said on Twitter that he was excited to play the new tournament and described Japan as “one of my favorite countries.”
“It’s going to be a fun fall,” he said.
Woods is U.S. captain for the Presidents Cup that will be held Dec. 12-15 at Royal Melbourne in Australia, giving the 43-year-old Woods at least two trips halfway around the world.
The Zozo Championship will be Oct. 24-27 at Accordia Golf Chiba Narashino Country Club, about 50 miles east of Tokyo. It is part of three tournaments that make up the PGA Tour’s Asia Swing, following the CJ Cup in South Korea and the HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
The Japan tournament, co-sanctioned with the Japan Golf Tour, is a 78-man field with a $9.75 million purse.
Woods last played in Japan in 2006 at the Dunlop Phoenix, where he lost in a playoff to Padraig Harrington. Woods won the Dunlop Phoenix the two previous years, beating Ryoken Kawagishi by nine shots in 2004, and beating Kaname Yokoo in a playoff in 2005.
He also hit one of his best wedge shots in Japan in the 2001 World Cup, when he hit a pitch into the bank of the green and into the cup for an eagle that got Woods and David Duval into four-team playoff. South Africa wound up winning the World Cup.
Woods won for the 81st time in his PGA Tour career two weeks ago at the Masters, winning his fifth green jacket and 15th major. He had overcome four back surgeries since the spring of 2014, the most recent one to fuse his lower back in April 2017.
Woods had cut back on his international travel while coping with back problems.
Except for his Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas — a short flight from his home in Florida — the Dubai Desert Classic in 2017 is the only regular tour event he has played overseas since the first of his four back surgeries.