Woods set for Sydney and Australian Open

Sydney: Tiger Woods has signed up to play at the Australian Open in Sydney in November, organisers said on Monday, making the former world number one a likely starter at the following week`s Presidents Cup.

The 14-times major winner will return to competition for the first time since May at this week`s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in the United States after missing the last two majors because of leg injuries.

Golf Australia Chief Executive Stephen Pitt told a news conference at the Lakes Golf Club that Woods had signed up for the Nov. 10-13 tournament in Sydney.

Woods joins Presidents Cup captains Greg Norman and Fred Couples in the field, which also features defending champion and 2006 U.S. Open winner Geoff Ogilvy as well as American top 20 players Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson.

"There is no doubt whatsoever, it will be one of the best fields ever assembled for an Australian Open Championship and there are still major player announcements to be made over the coming weeks," Pitt said.

Couples will lead the United States against the rest of the world barring Europe in the Nov. 17-20 Presidents Cup and has previously said that, if fit, Woods would be part of his 12-man team for the contest at the Royal Melbourne club.

Woods, who won his last title at the 2009 Australia Masters, has slipped to 28th in the world rankings as he rebuilds his life both on and off the course after injury and his confession to a string of extra-marital affairs.

The 35-year-old American remains, however, among the biggest draw cards for golf fans.

"With Tiger in town the eyes of the world will again be on Australia`s global events city," said New South Wales Premier Barry O`Farrell, whose government has helped fund Woods`s participation.

"We caught the Shark and now we have snared the Tiger to give him the chance to join the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Gene Sarazen, Greg Norman, Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer and Peter Thomson on the Open`s honour roll."

Bureau Report

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