Tiger Woods could get close to $3 million for playing Abu Dhabi

Jonathan Wall

Torrey Pines holds a special place in Tiger Woods' heart. Not only was it the site of his historic U.S. Open victory in 2008, the course has been a staple of his schedule since 1998 -- a familiar track that became his personal playground over the years, as Woods won six times in a 13-year span, including four consecutive victories from 2005-08.

Simply put, Torrey is Woods' second home. But despite his love for the California gem, he decided to pass on playing the event this year. What would make him pass on one of the top events on the PGA Tour? Try a nearly $3 million appearance fee he's going to get for showing up to play the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

With the European Tour's star-studded event in the desert going head-to-head with the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, the Sheikhs pulled out the big guns to lure Woods to Abu Dhabi, reportedly giving him, according to the Golf Channel's Rex Hoggard, somewhere between $1.7 million and $2.7 million. That's some serious coin, folks.

While the appearance fee money is pretty much in line with what Woods has made in the past -- he scooped up $3 million for playing the Australian Masters, so it looks like Abu Dhabi actually got Woods at a slight discount -- you can't help but look at the figure and shake your head.

With a reported $5 million appearance fee pool for this year's event, Abu Dhabi spent 60 percent of its funds on one guy, which is borderline insane, in my opinion. But when you consider Woods is still the biggest draw on the planet, maybe the number doesn't seem that absurd after all.

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