Tiger Woods to use Sydney as Presidents warm-up

With the Presidents Cup in Melbourne a week later, many say it is a sign that Woods is confident enough that his knee is OK that he is using Sydney as a warm-up.

SYDNEY // Tiger Woods will play the Australian Open one week before the Presidents Cup, his first appearance in Sydney since his first year as a professional.

Golf Australia announced Monday that Woods would compete at The Lakes on November 10-13 against a field that already includes the defending champion Geoff Ogilvy, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and the Presidents Cup captains, Fred Couples and Greg Norman.

The Presidents Cup is the following week at Royal Melbourne. Woods, who missed the past three months with injuries to his left knee, is No 26 in the Presidents Cup standings. The top 10 Americans qualify for the US team on September 18, although Couples is likely to take Woods as a captain's pick if his game is in shape.

The announcement is a sign Woods feels confident his leg is fully healed and he expects to play in the Presidents Cup.

The 14-time major champion has plunged to No 28 in the world and has gone 20 months since his last win at the 2009 Australian Masters in Melbourne. He last played in Sydney in the 1996 Australian Open, where he opened with a 79 and rallied to tie for fifth.

"I'm anxious to return," Woods said to Golf Australia. "I have a great affinity for playing golf in Australia, and I'm looking forward to competing against an outstanding field."

Published: August 2, 2011 04:00 AM