Thousand Oaks, CA, United States (4E Sports) – To help continue the event inspired partly by his late father, golf superstar Tiger Woods has reportedly shelled out $4 million of his personal money to help defray the operating expenses of the World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club.
Woods confirmed that he helped “bridged the gap” but refused to mention the exact amount, emphasizing that the tournament made one of his foundation’s dream a reality.
“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,” Woods said.
“There have been so many kids that we have helped, just because of this event. It’s important to me, to the foundation. This is what got us on the map,” he added.
The World Challenge, which began in 1999, is one event that Woods holds dear, according to his agent, Mark Steinberg.
“He started this one with his father,” Steinberg said. “And he didn’t want to see the foundation take a hit in order to stage the tournament.”
Since its inception, the World Challenge has raised more than $25 million for the foundation, helping Woods start his Learning Center and other endeavors in other parts of the country.
Woods has been contributing his prize money from the World Challenge, the AT&T National and the Deutsche Bank Championship to the foundation.
Woods won the World Challenge last year and the AT&T over the summer, victories that were worth more than $1 million each. He’s contributed more than $14 million of his prize money alone over the years.
Woods shot a third-round 69, putting him five strokes back of tournament leader Graeme McDowell.
McDowell later said that players were not aware of Woods’ generosity in helping the tournament this week.
“That’s a hugely honorable thing to do,” McDowell said. “He already gives back so much to the game. He’s a huge reason why we’re playing for so much money around the world”.