ADAMS: Woods, Frys.com Open a perfect match

ADAMS: Woods, Frys.com Open a perfect match

The Frys.com Open became one of the biggest sporting events in
the Bay Area on Monday when tournament organizers added the
38th-ranked golfer in the world to their list of committed
players.
The Frys.com Open became one of the biggest sporting events in the Bay Area on Monday when tournament organizers added the 38th-ranked golfer in the world to their list of committed players.

Tiger Woods — you heard of him? — announced via his website he will be in the field at CordeValle Golf Club in October, delivering what Kathy Kolder, a Frys.com Open chairperson and the executive vice president of Fry’s Electronics, described as a “boost in marquee value” to a fifth-year PGA Tour Fall Series event hungering for star power.

Asked Monday if he would change anything about the 2010 Frys.com Open, the first PGA event held in Silicon Valley, tournament director Ian Knight jokingly said the weather — and the attendance. The event did draw a decent crowd over the final two days, with people’s champ Rocco Mediate holing eagle after eagle on the way to first place. And it did raise about $800,000 for local charities. But those numbers pale in comparison to what’s expected this fall.

“We’re very excited to have Tiger playing in our event this year,” Knight said. “It’s going to do a lot for attendance. It’ll be great for spectators, and we think it’s going to generate a significant amount of money to our charities with the tournament.”

As surreal as locals will feel watching arguably the greatest golfer in history tee off in their own backyard — hopefully in the same group as Mediate — let us not be careless as to think of this as a one-way street. Because the Frys.com Open needs Woods, a fading megastar whose name is outgrowing his talent, as much as Woods needs the Frys.com Open. A victory there could do wonders.

Let’s review.

Woods is 0-12 in majors since his dramatic playoff victory over Mediate at the 2008 U.S. Open and has not won since the 2009 Australian Open, held a week before that infamous Thanksgiving night. He has vowed time and again to be on the track toward reclaiming his dominance but has been hampered by erratic putting and driving, plus a balky knee that won’t seem to heal. We last saw him missing the cut at the PGA Championship on Aug. 12.

Woods’ personal life has had to have weighed on him; see his much-publicized divorce in 2010, the fallout from firing his longtime caddie, Steve Williams, and the loss of several corporate sponsors. I feel for the guy at times.

Looking back at it, I’m reminded of a tried and true remedy for getting an athlete’s confidence back, in basketball and golf: See the ball go in.

What Woods needs more than ever right now is to see himself win, which he will be favored to do come Oct. 6. Bum knee and all, Woods should dominate CordeValle’s championship course. He hasn’t played it before, but he does have a good track record on courses designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., and in his home state. Woods has 16 PGA tournament victories in California, the most of any state.

Woods should be relaxed, having nothing to lose.

“It’s been a long time between the (PGA Championship) and Frys, and I’ll be anxious to compete,” Woods said on his website.

And also: “I’m looking forward to seeing some old friends.”

College pals, maybe? Woods, of course, played brilliantly the Stanford men’s golf team, winning an NCAA individual title in 1996, a year after participating in his first major.

One could argue Woods’ career took off in the Bay Area. Will it be saved there, too?

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