While the golf world waits with bated breath to learn where Tiger Woods will be teeing it up following his historic Masters victory two weeks ago, the now 15-time major champion threw a curveball on Wednesday by making a surprise commitment.
With many expecting Woods to announce he will be playing in next week’s Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina, Woods declared on social media that he will teeing it up in Japan at the inaugural ZOZO Championship in October.
“I’m excited to play in the inaugural ZOZO Championship in October, and return to Japan, one of my favorite countries,” Woods tweeted. “It’s going to be a fun fall.”
I’m excited to play in the inaugural ZOZO Championship in October, and return to Japan, one of my favorite countries. It’s going to be a fun fall. https://t.co/vaFO4DEv1r
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 25, 2019
The announcement caught many off-guard, but it gave a big boost to the Tour’s fledgling event outside of Tokoyo, which is slated to be played October 24-27 at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club. The ZOZO Championship will have a $9.75 million purse, a field of 78 players and no 36-hole cut.
“The fans in Japan really enjoy, appreciate and understand golf, and I’m looking forward to competing there,” Woods said in a statement.
Woods’ inclusion in one of the three Tour stops in Asia during the fall will be his first start in a fall event since the 2013-14 season. He is also expected to be taking part in an exhibition in Asia during that timeframe as part of his partnership with GOLFTV, according to ESPN.com’s Bob Harig.
Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, told Harig at the Masters two weeks ago that the exhibition would possibly include Woods playing another pro or he would invite a series of players for a one-day competition, but these competitions would be unrelated to his matches against Phil Mickelson.
Tiger to play PGA Tour's first official event in Japan in October. https://t.co/33vEee5EXX
— Bob Harig (@BobHarig) April 25, 2019
“We are in pretty deep discussions about doing that, and Japan would be ideal to do the first one,” Steinberg said. “It might not be a traditional head-to-head match. It might be something more unique.
“We haven’t put together what the field will look like. How big would the field be? What type of format would they play? The exact date? We’d like to do it around the first-ever PGA Tour event in Japan.”
Woods’ fall and winter is filling up as he will spend time in Asia before returning for his event in the Bahamas in early December. He will then travel to Australia the week following the Hero World Challenge to captain — and likely play in — The Presidents Cup.