2009-07-24 / News

Woods returns to Buick Open

Perry withdraws to spend time with ailing mother

By Lisa Paine

Sports Editor

 

GRAND BLANC – Tiger is back and the Buick Open officials couldn’t be happier.

In a press release issued Thursday at 12:10 p.m., Buick officials confirmed that the two-time defending champ (2002, 2006) has confirmed he will play in next week’s 51st annual tournament at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club.

The week officially kicks off July 27 with two days of pro practice rounds, a Family Fun Day on Tuesday at noon and then the fan-favorite Pro Am on Wednesday at 6:45 a.m. with appearances by Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz and players Jason Hanson, Drew Staton and Dominic Railoa; Red Wings Kirk Maltby and Dan Cleary; New Pistons coach John Kuester and Piston greats Vinnie Johnson and Bill Laimbeer. Flint native Charlie Bell and Houston Rockets’ Shane Battier are also on the slate. The tournament gets started with the first round on Thursday, July 30 and play continues through the championship round on Sunday, Aug. 2.

Woods, who turned pro in 1996 won his last Buick Open in 2006, where he also notched his 50th career win. He has won 68 PGA TOUR titles that include the 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2005 Masters Tournaments; the 1999, 2000, 2006 and 2007 PGA Championships; 2000, 2002 and 2008 U.S. Open Championships; and 2000, 2005 and 2006 British Open Championships. This season, Woods has already picked up three TOUR wins, but failed to make the cut at the British Open, just the second time ever missing a cut in his career and first time in an Open.

“We are very fortunate and honored that the world’s No. 1-ranked player has decided to play the Buick Open,” said Larry Peck, national promotions manager for Buick-GMC. “There is no doubt that Tiger brings an elevated excitement level to Warwick Hills whenever he plays, and we are delighted to share the news with Michigan fans.”

At the Buick Open, Woods shares the record with Billy Mayfair for lowest 18-hole score after carding 61 in the second round at the 2005 tournament. Woods has made eight appearances at the Buick Open and has never finished lower than 11th. When he won his second masters title in 2001, Woods moved up the ladder to become the first player ever to hold all four professional major titles at one time. He also is the career victories leader among currently active players and is the career money leader on the PGA TOUR.

Despite the exciting news on Tiger’s commitment to play, Buick also sent out its heartfelt good wishes to last year’s and two-time defending champ Kenny Perry, who withdrew on Tuesday to be with his mother, Mildred, who is battling multiple myeloma.

“The entire Buick family is deeply saddened to hear the news about Kenny Perry’s mother,” said Peck. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her, Kenny and his wife Sandy, their children and the entire Perry family.”

“Obviously, I regret not being able to defend my title at the Buick,” said Perry in a press release. “It’s a great tournament, and I love the course, but I need to be with my family right now. We have some tough decisions to make over the next few weeks.”

The deadline to commit to the tournament was Friday, July 24, and on board are Nick Watney, David Duval, Rory Sabatini, Billy Mayfair, Boo Weekley, Andres Romero, Stuart Applebee and Chad Campbell.

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