Tiger Woods Foundation to host Riviera's PGA Tour tournament
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
The Tiger Woods Foundation will bring its hosting abilities to one of America's most revered layouts, as the organization will now run the PGA Tour's event at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
The partnership, announced Tuesday, will return Woods to the tournament for the first time since 2006. Woods, 40, grew up in Cypress, about 45 minutes from the suburban-L.A. layout, even earning his first PGA Tour start there in 1992 as a 16-year-old amateur (he would miss the cut that week). But he hasn't played the tournament in a decade, having withdrawn with the flu in 2006 after barely making the cut.
Now, Woods' organization is onboard for Riviera, which means Woods' significant involvement and likely edict to compete in the tournament, if he is healthy by next year's West Coast Swing. Woods has not played on Tour since August and underwent a second microdiscectomy surgery on his back last year.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for my Foundation,” Woods said in a release. “This is the first PGA Tour event I ever played, and it means a lot to contribute to a community that has supported me and my foundation for more than 20 years. I’m committed to playing in my foundation’s events, and it will be exciting to return to Riviera.”
Woods' announcement means he return to one of the oldest tournaments on the PGA Tour. The event, sponsored in recent years by Northern Trust, debuted in 1926 and originated at Los Angeles Country Club. Riviera has hosted three major championships: 1948 U.S. Open and 1983 and 1995 PGA Championships. More recently, Riviera, a 1927 design by George C. Thomas Jr. and William P. Bell that ranks No. 20 on the Golfweek's Best Classic Courses list, hosted the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Championship.
The foundation's host role comes at a time when the tournament brings in a new sponsor: Hyundai Motor America. Both organizations are headquartered in California.
"Recognizing Tiger’s ongoing connection to his home state through his foundation, we saw an opportunity to correspond the transition of the tournament operation with the new long-term sponsorship by Hyundai,” PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. “With Hyundai Motor America also based in the Los Angeles area, we see this as a very positive move that further strengthens the local ties of the tournament."
Woods' foundation also plays host to the Tour's Quicken Loans National event in suburban Washington and the unofficial Hero World Challenge. The Tour will take over management from the foundation at the Deutsche Bank Championship beginning in 2017.
Though the Riviera event doesn't have a name yet, the Woods partnership excites course leaders.
“On behalf of the Riviera Country Club, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the Tiger Woods Foundation and Hyundai,” said Michael R. Yamaki, Riviera Country Club's corporate officer. “We at Riviera have always considered Tiger our hometown hero since his amateur days playing in the Los Angeles area. Now with Hyundai coming onboard as the new title sponsor and the Tiger Woods Foundation serving as the host organization, the historic Riviera legacy continues.”
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