Tiger Woods on Saturday at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., confirmed he "personally 'bridged the gap,' to help the World Challenge presented by Northwestern Mutual meet its operation costs," according to Bob Harig of ESPN.com. Woods "would not verify the seven-figure amount, but the Associated Press reported it to be $4 million." Woods said, "I'm not going to tell you the exact amount, but it's a good number. What's important is that if it wasn't for this tournament, we wouldn't have the success with the foundation. The Learning Center would not have happened. We wouldn't have gained the awareness that we have now." Excel Sports Management agent Mark Steinberg, who represents Woods, said that "this is the tournament that Woods holds dear." Steinberg: "He started this one with his father. And he didn't want to see the foundation take a hit in order to stage the tournament." Woods has "been contributing his prize money from the World Challenge, the AT&T National and the Deutsche Bank Championship to the foundation" (ESPN.com, 12/1).
NOT OUT OF THE WOODS: The AP's Doug Ferguson reported when the tournament "lost its title sponsor last year, and a deal with a major company unexpectedly fell through at the last minute in early September, Woods spent what is believed to be about $4 million of his own money to join presenting sponsor Northwestern Mutual in covering the operation costs." Woods said, "We're going to be doing everything we can to keep the tournament going and keep all our programs going." Golfer Steve Stricker said, "It shows what this event means to him. There's a lot of things Tiger does that people don't know about." But how much longer the World Challenge continues is "uncertain." Tiger Woods Foundation President Greg McLaughlin said that it has a reserve fund that "supports operations and programs, such as the learning centers." He "did not say whether the World Challenge could go another year without a title sponsor, saying only that it was 'very important.'" The tournament has been given a date for '13, but that "doesn't mean it will be played" (AP, 12/1).