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Archive for Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tiger tackling dueling passions

New baby, own tournament vying for Woods’ attention

May 30, 2007

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— As his wife prepares to give birth to the couple's first child, Tiger Woods is giving birth to his first PGA Tour golf tournament.

And, oh yeah, there's something called the U.S. Open coming up, too.

The top player in the world is a very busy man these days.

"My time management skills are going to be tested," Woods said. "But, then again, these are all things that are very exciting: hosting my first tour event, playing in the U.S. Open, and above all, the birth of a first child. ... Thankfully, I don't sleep much."

His voice turned down a notch by a case of strep throat, Woods dropped by Congressional Country Club on Tuesday to promote the AT&T National, which will be run by his foundation and will debut July 5-8. Those dates are important, because that's around the time his wife, Elin, is due.

"My intent is to play," Woods said. "But my wife has something to say about that. Especially for the inaugural event, I want to be here. But as everyone understands, our No. 1 priority in our lives is our child. You only get to witness it for the first time only once."

Woods said it's been difficult delegating his time because he wants to be hands-on with an event associated with his name. It's a rush job because the tournament wasn't announced until March, after the International in Denver vacated the July date.

"It's hard work," Woods said. "It really is. You don't do this with golf tournaments, especially on this scale. It just doesn't happen."

"We wanted to make this a family atmosphere," Woods said. "A lot of times I play tournaments around the world where the prices of tickets are basically out of control."

Woods also has been his recruiting fellow golfers to play in the tournament. But they, like him, set their schedules well in advance. Ernie Els won't be coming - he'll be in Europe. Phil Mickelson probably won't play, either. Vijay Singh is "up in the air," according to Woods.

Jim Furyk, Adam Scott, Davis Love III, Darren Clarke, Charles Howell III and Stuart Appleby are among those who have accepted spots in the invitation-only, 120-man field.

"Maybe it'll get a little bit better as it gets little closer, but right now it's real difficult," Woods said.

Woods offered some humor about his impending fatherhood. He was asked what he would do if he's on the 18th hole with a one-stroke lead when he gets the word that Elin has gone into labor.

"Well, I'll have to play real quick, won't I?" he said. "A 3 will win."

And, by the way, it seems everyone wants to name Woods' baby.

"It's been unreal, name suggestions," Woods said. "Anything and everything. I get a lot of advice about how to play golf from the gallery, but this is infinitely more. It's been very interesting. Everybody always tells their own story, too, of what happened. Sometimes a little more grotesque than I would like to hear - they still tell it anyway."

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