Tiger Woods shrugs off accusations of accepting appearance fee for Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship
After all the hue and cry over Tiger Woods' decision to start off the season with the European Tour event in Abu Dhabi and repeated accusations of him accepting appearance money for the same, the former world number one finally laid all the criticism to rest on Tuesday, January 24, when he reiterated his commitment to HSBC’s long standing relationship with his foundation.
Golf critics blamed Woods for ditching his home tour against a foreign one and lashed out at him, accusing him of accepting a mammoth $3 million in appearance fee from the sponsors.
Woods said, “HSBC has been a huge supporter of my foundation for years, and I have played in the Shanghai event, and just have not played this one until this week. I hear nothing but positive things of the golf course. I know it's been a long one. But somehow the scores seem to be pretty low”.
Woods’ decision has severely affected the turnout at this week’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, often regarded as one of the famous hunting grounds of Woods.
He has won seven times at the course, including the 2008 US Open. Keeping in view his recent upsurge in form and sport, the course would have received the biggest turn out in its history if Woods had opted to play.
For the moment, the National Course at Abu Dhabi will be the most sought after destination of golf lovers as the 14-major-winner hopes to bag the first title of the calendar year.
Woods will be walking down the course on Wednesday, January 25, to have a closer look of the layout.
Although Woods has played on the Middle Eastern desert courses before, particularly in Dubai, this is for the first time that he will be playing in Abu Dhabi.
He added, “So it will be nice to get out there today this afternoon and kind of take a look at it and see how it's playing, and trying to figure out my sight lines and some of the green speeds”.
This year’s field at Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship is one of the strongest ever compiled and is likely to give Woods a run for his money.