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Woods signs up for new $5.3m Turkey event

ESPN staff
July 3, 2012 « Van Commenee expects 'heap of appeals' | Chartbeat test »
Tiger Woods moved second on the all-time list of PGA Tour wins with victory at the AT&T National © Getty Images
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Tiger Woods has signed a lucrative deal to appear in the World Golf Finals in Turkey as part of a sponsorship deal with Turkish Airlines.

As part of a three-year commitment to the new matchplay event - which debuts nine days after the Ryder Cup - it is believed Woods has built an appealing "relationship" with the country's national airline.

Plans are in place for the event to offer "the richest first prize in golf" - reported to be in the region of $2.5 million - by next year, while this year's winner will walk away with a cheque for $1.5m.

A host of top-name players are set to join Woods on the Antalya coast, with Rory McIlroy, world No. 1 Luke Donald and Lee Westwood among the strong field.

Somewhat predictably, the unauthorised $5.3m event has not been received well by the tours, although Chubby Chandler - the ISM chief executive who is leading the project - has acted to get them on side.

With the event being played from Tuesday to Friday, the weekend coverage of the Portuguese Masters and the Frys.Com Open will not be put in the shade. Additionally, a Turkish Open will be added to the European Tour calendar in April.

Turkey are among the nations bidding to host the 2020 Olympics and, with golf being reintroduced at the 2016 Games, having Woods on board could prove beneficial.

Woods, who overtook Jack Nicklaus into second place on the all-time list of PGA Tour wins with his 74th triumph at the AT&T National last weekend, tees it up at the Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia on Thursday as he fine-tunes his preparations for the Open Championship.

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