December 4 2013
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Whether Tiger Woods wins this week's Northwestern Mutual World Challenge or not, Sunday will be a bittersweet day for him.
After 14 years, his annual limited-field event is moving from Sherwood Country Club near where he grew up in Southern California to Isleworth Golf & Country Club near Orlando.
"It is going to be emotional," Woods said Wednesday. "Sherwood, the board here, all the volunteers that come out and support us in sunshine or rain, wind, cold or perfect sunny So Cal days. They come out to support our event and have made this event as special as it has been.
"Most golf tournaments don't stay at one golf course for that long. I foresee certainly an emotional Sunday for sure."
It's also a sign of the times.
After going without a title sponsor in 2012, Northwestern Mutual signed a one-year deal for this year's tournament.
Going forward, the Tavistock Group will be part of the picture -- Woods has been a longtime friend of its Joe Lewis.
Throw in a packed golf calendar and the decision was all but made for the tournament's host.
"It's harder to get good players to play, quite frankly," Woods said. "And sponsorship dollars are certainly not exactly easy to come by in these economic times. So it made sense for us to move.
"It was certainly not an easy decision. But there are a lot of players that are based there in Florida. It will be a little easier for the guys to make a trek out instead of coming all the way out here, to stay right there in Florida."
As for Woods, this will be his final start of 2013.
While he won five times and was named Player of the Year on the PGA TOUR, he failed to win a major championship for a fifth straight season.
"I certainly wish I could have played a little better in major championships," Woods admitted. "I was there at the Masters and there at the British certainly with a chance, but just didn't get it done. The other two I just didn't play well. But winning THE PLAYERS Championship and then obviously four other events, I think it's a pretty good year.
"I feel like I've improved this year than I did over the previous year. I'm very pleased at the overall year."