TIGER'S FOUNDATION FINDS ROAMING GROUNDS T.O.'S SHERWOOD COUNTRY CLUB TO HOST TOURNAMENT.
THOUSAND OAKS - Sporting swoosh-bedecked casual attire and flashing his trademark smile, Tiger Woods on Monday declared how happy he is to have found a home for his golf tournament at the Sherwood Country Club.
``This is a very important day for all of us at the Tiger Woods Foundation,'' Woods said of his charitable organization. ``This is our second tournament, and it's really neat to be back in Southern California. It's an area I know and love.''
Woods is returning to Sherwood Country Club for his second tournament appearance.
``I can't wait to come back. The last time I played here I won $1 million,'' he said of the made-for-TV event featuring a battle with David Duval, then the world's No. 1 player.
Woods subsequently surpassed Duval as No. 1 and is swamped by the media wherever he goes.
This was evident to David Murdock, who as chairman of Westlake Village-based Dole Food Co. and owner of the Sherwood Country Club is used to getting media attention as well.
``I've spoken in front of quite a few microphones before, but never this many,'' Murdock quipped, standing behind a podium festooned with seven microphones.
The Woods Foundation has a three-year deal to play at Sherwood.
The main sponsor, Williams, is a Tulsa-based energy and communications company. Also sponsoring the tournament are Buick, Ralphs Grocery Co. and Countrywide Home Loans Inc. of Calabasas.
The tournament, Nov. 27 through Dec. 3, is yet another sign of how far Woods has traveled in such little time. His blitzkrieg of the sport has been so spectacular that it is easy to overlook the depth of the talent pool he is competing against.
Already he has managed to wed his name with a tournament, something that only the greats such as Byron Nelson, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Bobby Jones, founder of The Masters, have accomplished.
And while it is not a full field event, it does have one of the longest names - the Tiger Woods Foundation's Williams World Challenge presented by Target.
It falls right in the midst of golf's postseason gold rush so the venue, Sherwood Country Club, one of the poshest on the globe, is appropriate.
Business is being courted, too.
For $75,000, one corporation can entertain up to 75 guests in a private room inside the Sherwood clubhouse. It also buys four spots in the tournament sponsors' golf outing at Sherwood the Monday following the tournament.
A limited number of corporate skyboxes overlooking Sherwood's 18th green are available for $50,000. Perks include full lunch service, parking passes, television monitors and 35 credentials.
If that's too steep, a spot in the pro-am tournament can be had for $30,000.
Television ad packages range from $6,000 to $85,000.
It's a marquee field on the course too, that includes such stars at Tom Lehman, the defending champion, Masters champion Vijay Singh, Duval, Hall Sutton and Justin Leonard.
So once again, golf is putting the city of Thousand Oaks on the sporting map, a place it held for years when pro golfer Greg Norman hosted his Shark Shootout in the town. Bottom line is the city gets free TV time.
``We always see a benefit from TV exposure,'' said City Attorney Mark Seller, whom the city designated as its spokesman on the event because he plays golf. ``We have some major corporations in town and we think it's a great opportunity. It broadcasts to the rest of the country that we have a great community, clean air and probably the best weather in the U.S.''
There is a three-day pro-am celebrity tournament leading up to the four- day stroke play championship, which is being covered like a major event on the regular tour. The first two rounds are being televised by TNT Network with the final two rounds on NBC.
That's how they handle big events such as The Masters, the U.S. and British Opens, The Players Championship and Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament.
``We were saddened to see (the Shark Shootout) go, but this sounds equally beneficial and a great sporting event,'' Seller said.
(color) Tiger Woods' father, Earl, left, applauds his son following a press conference Monday where it was announced that the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks would be home for the foundation's tournament.
Joe Binoya/Special to the Daily News