Woods to play Fall Series in October near Stanford

Posted Aug. 29, 2011, at 6:51 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 29, 2011, at 11:01 p.m.

NORTON, Mass. — Tiger Woods will play the Frys.com Open in California the first week of October, his first time competing in the PGA Tour’s Fall Series as he tries to get his game ready for the Presidents Cup.

The Frys.com Open is Oct. 6-9 at CordeValle Golf Club, about 45 minutes south of his alma mater at Stanford.

“I always enjoy competing in my home state, and this tournament fits my schedule perfectly,” Woods said Monday on his website. “I’m looking forward to seeing some old friends.”

Woods said a week ago he might add a tournament because of his limited schedule this year brought on by leg injuries. He chose a tournament from the Fall Series that he has never played.

The Frys.com Open, in only its fifth year, was one of the more exciting tournaments of the Fall Series last year. Rocco Mediate holed out for eagle in each of the four rounds, including the 17th hole in the final round, for a one-shot win. It also offers a $5 million purse, the richest among events after the FedEx Cup is over.

“John Fry and his company have supported the tour, and I’ve heard good things about the event and the golf course,” Woods said. “One of my goals this year was to participate in a tournament I hadn’t played before. And now I will.”

Woods has played only eight PGA Tour events this year because of injuries to his left knee and Achilles’ tendon. He went four months without completing a tournament — from the Masters in April to the Bridgestone Invitational in August — so he could make sure his injuries were fully healed. He said at Firestone that his leg felt as good as it had in years.

His results raised questions about his golf, however. He tied for 37th at Firestone, then missed the cut at the PGA Championship, the first time he had ever finished outside the top 100 in a major.

When he plays the Frys.com Open, it will be his first event in six weeks, although Woods is to play in a one-day exhibition in upstate New York on Wednesday to support Notah Begay’s charity work.

“It’s been a long time between the PGA and Frys, and I’ll be anxious to compete,” Woods said.

Fred Couples said last week he told Woods he would be a captain’s pick for the Presidents Cup, even though he was 28th in the standings and had been out of golf for much of the summer, missing two majors. Couples said he wanted Woods to play more before the Australian Open in November, a week before the Presidents Cup.

Even though there was speculation about Woods going to Disney or Las Vegas — two tournaments he had won as a rookie — the Frys.com Open had been a possibility all along.

The tournament consultant is Duke Butler, a former business executive with the PGA Tour who had come out of retirement in 2007 to help launch the AT&T National, which supports Woods’ foundation.

“This is a good start,” Butler said. “We’d like to think that players and caddies and fans who have been here have enjoyed it, and they’ve been spreading the word.”

It likely will be the only Fall Series event that Woods plays.

He is hosting the first Tiger Woods Invitational a week after the Frys.com Open at Pebble Beach to raise money for his foundation. Proceeds from the three-day event on the Monterey Peninsula will support college-access programs for underprivileged youth.

Woods has some appearances in Asia before going to the Australian Open in Sydney on Nov. 10-13, followed by the Presidents Cup in Melbourne. After a week off, he would finish his year at the Chevron World Challenge, assuming he is eligible. That’s for the top 50 in the world, and Woods fell to No. 38 in the world ranking this week.

GOLF NOTES: Mark Calcavecchia won the Boeing Classic on Sunday in Snoqualmie, Wash., for his first Champions Tour title, beating Russ Cochran with a two-putt birdie on the first hole of a playoff. Calcavecchia and Cochran shot 7-under 65s to finish at 14 under at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge. Calcavecchia, a 13-time PGA Tour winner making his 31st career start in two seasons on the 50-and-over tour, almost wrapped up the title on the par-5 18th in regulation, but his lengthy eagle putt came up a few inches short. Cochran, who nearly aced the par-3 17th, made a 12-foot eagle putt on 18 to force the playoff. In the playoff, Calcavecchia found nearly the same spot on the 18th green as he did regulation, while Cochran pulled his second shot into a greenside bunker. Cochran’s bunker shot bounced past the pin into the rough and Calcavecchia two-putted for the title. It was Calcavecchia’s first win since the PGA Tour’s 2007 PODS Championship. It was his third victory in the Pacific Northwest, following wins in the 1997 Greater Vancouver Open and 2005 Canadian Open. Earlier this year, Calcavecchia lost by two shots to Cochran in the Senior British Open and blew a big third-round lead at the Regions Tradition. Cochran left Calcavecchia behind in the Senior British after Calcavecchia four-putted on the ninth hole during the final round. There were no such lapses this time for Calcavecchia. The playoff capped a wild final three holes by both players where each seemed poised to take control. The craziness started at the 16th when Cochran sat 10 feet below the hole with a birdie putt, only to watch Calcavecchia chip in from 15 yards shot of the green for birdie — Calcavecchia’s second chip-in birdie of the round. Cochran missed his putt and fell behind by a shot.

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