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Woods to tee up in a fortnight

CHARLOTTE, April 15 – Tiger Woods, who finished fourth at the Masters in his first tournament in five months, will tee it up again in a fortnight at the Quail Hollow Championship.

Woods committed on Thursday to the tournament, which runs from April 29 to May 2.

Woods made a highly anticipated return to competition last week at the Masters, ending five months of self-imposed seclusion that followed a withering sex scandal.

He has played Quail Hollow – formerly known as the Wachovia Championship – four times since it was introduced to the PGA Tour in 2003.

He won in 2007 and was fourth last year, finishing two shots behind winner Sean O’Hair.

The tournament will be his first since the scandal where tickets are sold to the general public.

That contrasts with the tightly controlled conditions at Augusta National, where weekly passes are secured months in advance, and fans fear losing them if caught showing poor etiquette.

Woods received warm applause when he teed off in the first round, and the support remained steady throughout the week.

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Quail Hollow tournament director Kym Hougham said organizers had been preparing for Woods’s possible participation for some time and had security plans in place.

"I think our crowds are very respectful and they always have been. The players have always told us that," Hougham said of the possibility that Woods, who has admitted cheating on his wife, Elin, would face hecklers in the crowd.

"If there is inappropriate behavior, we’ll act on it swiftly. I’m sure that if Tiger didn’t feel we could handle it he wouldn’t be coming here."

Hougham praised Woods for his decision to commit to the event early, rather than waiting until the April 23 deadline.

"It’s going to be a huge benefit for the people who have been waiting to buy tickets," Hougham said. "Ironically, our Saturday daily tickets sold out yesterday. Friday and Sunday are not far behind, so this will probably put us over the top, which we’re excited about.

"The economy has made people change their buying habits and people are waiting longer."

Tournament media director Lee Patterson said the media credential request deadline was April 2, but officials are preparing to make for a few late arrivals, particularly among golf writers.

Others, such as celebrity magazines and tabloids may also be accommodated.

"We’ll try the best we can," he said. "At some point, I’ll be maxed out."

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