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Turkey has Tiger by tail in bid for Olympics

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BELEK, Turkey -- Tiger Woods is returning to Turkey in the fall to play a European Tour event, this time over 72 holes of stroke play.

Organizers of the Turkish Airlines Open said Monday the No. 1 player in the world will be part of the 77-man field on Nov. 7-10 on the Maxx Royal course. Woods played in Turkey last year when it was an unofficial event of medal-match play. He lost in the semifinals to Justin Rose, who went on to win.

The tournament will be the third of four straight tournaments culminating with the European Tour finale in Dubai. It will have a $7 million purse.

Chubby Chandler of International Sports Management, who is promoting the tournament, said it was important to have Woods at the stop.

"We almost based the date around which week he could play, and this week suited the European Tour and Tiger Woods," Chandler told PA Sport in London. "The other 77 names in the field will not be familiar to Turkish fans, but Tiger Woods is. To have the world No. 1 there, it always makes it special if a European Tour player can win with Tiger in the field."

It will be the second European Tour event Woods plays. He missed the cut in Abu Dhabi to start the European Tour season. The Turkish Airlines Open is held the same week as the McGladrey Classic at Sea Island on the PGA Tour, which Woods has never played.

Turkish officials hope that having Woods at the tournament will boost Turkey's bid to host the 2020 Olympics.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 28, 2013 C7

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