ORLANDO, August 2 – World number one Tiger Woods announced on his website Sunday that he will compete at the 2011 Dubai Desert Classic, hoping to claim his third title in the European PGA Tour event.Woods won in 2006 and 2008 and has never fared worse than fifth in five appearances at the 1.9 million-Euro tournament at Emirates Golf Club.
"The level of competition has always been extremely high, so I know I’ll have to play my best golf if I’m going to regain my title," Woods said.
"It’s a great venue, the course is always in immaculate condition and the weather reminds me of back home in Florida."
Woods missed the chance to defend his crown in 2009 while still recovering from left knee surgery following his 2008 US Open victory.
This year he was in the midst of a five-month layoff in the wake of an adultery scandal when the Dubai event was played.
Woods, 34, will play in this week’s World Golf Championships event at Akron, Ohio, and next week’s PGA Championship at Kohler, Wisconsin, but has yet to announce the remainder of his 2010 plans.
Woods has won 14 major titles, four shy of the record 18 won by Jack Nicklaus, but has not won a major since the 2008 US Open.
"We are naturally delighted and proud that Tiger Woods has agreed to join us," said Mohamed Juma Buamaim, chief executive of Golf in Dubai.
"For us to be able to welcome him to the Majlis Course for the sixth time in 10 years is a major boost for golf in the Middle East, especially Dubai.
"With Tiger, who transcends all races, ages and gender, in the field, we are pretty confident that the 2011 Omega Dubai Desert Classic will create a buzz on the global stage. After all, he’s Tiger Woods for a reason."
Woods paised Dubai’s progress since his 2008 appearance.
"What they had done is phenomenal. I haven’t seen anything like this and I don’t think anyone anywhere around the world has seen this kind of growth," Woods said.
"Golf is just one component of it. Since the time I have been coming over here, the skyline keeps changing, keeps evolving, and the people keep coming here and thoroughly enjoy it.
"From the time I first came to play here in 2001, I wanted to be a part of this amazing vision."