RIDGEDALE, Mo. - In front of a large crowd gathered for his latest course design announcement, Tiger Woods took two swings into a par-3 hole and remained noncommittal about his return to competitive golf.
Little kid, maybe 10, just challenged Tiger to a competition at Big Cedar Lodge.
Woods shared a long embrace and chat with Tracey Stewart before the announcement began, and spoke of how much having Stewart's name on the course means to him. The U.S. Open is the next major on the schedule with first-round play scheduled to begin on June 15 from Erin Hills in Wisconsin.
Woods, however, did make a joke about playing on the PGA Tour Champions circuit when he is eligible in nine years, something he's never hinted at doing before. "I know he is looking down from heaven today and he is so proud". "To be able to design a public golf course is something near and dear to my heart".
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A 19-hole course located at the former site of the Murder Rock Golf Club will be called Payne's Valley.
Another legendary golfer made some noise south of Branson - Tiger Woods is getting into the golf course building business.
But Woods missed the green with his opening wedge shot falling short into water.
The 14 major titles are second only to the 18 won by Jack Nicklaus - who coincidentally is in the area for this week's Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge.
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The 18-time major victor was in Missouri for the announcement of the first public course designed by Woods' company TGR Design.
Questioned regarding his health during a subsequent news conference, a pragmatic Woods replied: "The back is progressing".
The course will honor Payne Stewart, who died in a plane crash in 1999.
The golf course development has kept Woods busy as he recovers from back surgery. "That's where I learned how to play".
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