Area golf enthusiasts may get opportunities other than the Masters Tournament to see Tiger Woods play in April.
The rock band Hootie and the Blowfish has announced that Woods will participate in their third annual "Monday After The Masters" pro-am on April 14 at The University Club in Columbia.
PGA Tour players David Duval, Peter Jacobsen and Gary McCord will join Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino, Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, ESPN's Dan Patrick and Mike Mills and Bill Berry of the rock band R.E.M. Hootie and the Blowfish will give a concert at Columbia's Township Auditorium that night.
The events will benefit the South Carolina Junior Golf Association, Fairway Outreach, the National Minority Junior Golf Scholarship Association and the Junior Golfland facility.
The United States championship portion of the match-play Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf, scheduled for Monday, April 21, and Tuesday, April 22, at Reynolds Plantation's Great Waters course in Greensboro, Ga., may also include Woods.
The first seven players in the eight-man field, based on The Sony Ranking at the end of 1996, will be announced late next week. Those are expected to be Tom Lehman, Fred Couples, Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Corey Pavin, Mark O'Meara and Steve Stricker. The eighth "tournament invitee" will be announced the second week of March and Woods is the prohibitive favorite for that spot.
"The eighth spot could be anybody, but (Woods) is definitely in the hopper as far as conversation goes," said Jeff Adams of International Sports and Management Strategies, which organizes the event. "Scott Hoch sits in eighth position (in the Sony Ranking) and he's somebody we would give every consideration. That's basically where it stands."
First-round matches are scheduled for April 21 and the U.S. semifinals and final on April 22, follows the MCI Classic at Hilton Head, S.C. Woods has not committed to that event as of last weekend, MCI Classic officials said.
The World finals, featuring the four sectional winners, will be played Jan. 3-4, 1998, at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. Greg Norman is the defending champion.
Tickets for the pro-am in Columbia are $10 and go on sale Friday at 10 a.m., through Ticketmaster. The Hootie and the Blowfish concert tickets go on sale March 15 through Capital Ticket outlets or by calling (803) 251-2222. The tickets are $15.50 and $25.50.
Tickets for the Great Waters Andersen event are on sale for $32 (one-day credential), $62 (two-day credential) and $150 (two days plus amenities). Call (706) 467-3151 for details. Adams said the event is limited to 5,000 spectators.
MCI Classic tournament director Mike Stevens said he has heard from other PGA Tour tournament directors that Woods' presence has increased their profit by 50 to 100 percent, in some cases. Woods has made it known he will not enter most events until the week before the tournament. He is playing in the Los Angeles Open beginning Thursday at Riviera Country Club.
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