Reports: Tiger to play in Turkey event

Updated: July 4, 2012, 3:51 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Coming off his third victory Sunday in seven PGA Tour starts, the positive news continues to roll in for Tiger Woods.

The former world No. 1 will be the main attraction at the new $5.3 million Turkish Airways World Golf Finals in October, according to published reports.

The event, according to The Telegraph and The Daily Mail in the United Kingdom, will be played Oct. 9-12 -- a Tuesday through Friday -- so as to not overshadow the PGA Tour's Frys.com Open that Woods played in in 2011, or the Portuguese Masters on the European Tour. Also, the newspapers said, there will be a Turkish Open in April 2013 added to the European Tour schedule.

Mark Steinberg, Woods' agent, said Tuesday that details are still be worked out and that the focus is on this year's event, as the newspaper reports indicated Woods would have a three-year commitment.

"We've been in discussions for a couple of months," Steinberg said. "It's not finalized but we're trying to work toward that end. At this point, Tiger's schedule is pretty fluid. We're looking at this year and seeing if the event is absolutely going to happen. Beyond this year, we don't know what the dates are for the Turkey event. Tiger had an enjoyable time at the Frys last year (where he tied for 30th). But I'm just looking at this year for right now."

In 2013, the Frys.com Open will become the start of a new wrap-around fiscal-year schedule for the PGA Tour. The schedule will begin in October with several events played in the fall and then to resume in January. Both the tournament and the tour would love to have Woods there to kick off its new season that will begin just a few weeks after the 2013 season ends.

Either way, it is going to be a hectic time. The season-ending Tour Championship will be the last week of September, followed by the Presidents Cup at Muirfield Village in Ohio. The Frys.com event would then begin on Oct. 10, 2013. It is unclear at this point if the lucrative Turkey match play event -- which reportedly will offer $2.5 million to the winner next year, $1.5 million this year-- will be played that same week.

The other stars in the eight-man Turkish Airways field this year include Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose, Charl Schwartzel, Hunter Mahan and 2012 U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson. The winner will pocket $1.5 million, with $1 million going to the runner-up, according to the reports.

Along with playing in the event, Woods also has a three-year "relationship" with the country's national airline, the newspapers said.

Reportedly, one of the goals in staging a golf event of this magnitude in Turkey is to bolster the country's hopes of landing the 2020 Olympic Games. Golf returns as an Olympic sport in the 2016 Games in Brazil and also will be part of the 2020 Olympics.

Information from ESPN.com's Bob Harig contributed to this report.

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