Tiger Woods to return to Atunyote July 5

Not even two years has passed since Tiger Woods, the world's most famous golfer, came to Central New York to participate in the Notah Begay III Foundation Challenge.

A whole lot has changed since then, from Woods' personal reputation to his once-unquestioned status as the game's top player. Still, he figures to draw quite a crowd when he appears again at Begay's annual charity event at Atunyote Golf Club in Verona.

This year's event will take place July 5, nearly two months earlier than the first three editions, all of which were in late August. And it will feature Woods, up-and-coming star Rickie Fowler and, as pro-am partners, NFL quarterbacks Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys) and Sam Bradford (St. Louis Rams). The rest of the field will be announced shortly.

This single-day activity partially makes up for the loss of the Turning Stone Resort Championship, played from 2007-2010, but taken off the PGA Tour schedule when a suitable date could not be found.

Among the many changes from Woods' appearance is 2009 is the cost of a ticket. Then, they ran up to $330. Now, any ticket purchased before May 15 is $40, and only rises to $50 after that date. Children under 16 will be admitted free with the purchase of an adult ticket, and active military members with a valid military ID will get a 50 percent discount.

What happened to Woods following a November 29 car accident outside his home is well-chronicled. Reports of affairs with other women led to a divorce from his wife, Elin, and Woods lost numerous multi-million dollar sponsorships.

And from a golf standpoint, it's hardly better. Woods has not won any tournament since late 2009, despite contending in the last two editions of the Masters, plus the 2010 United States Open at Pebble Beach in California. He has also lost his no. 1 world ranking, currently held by English golfer Lee Westwood.

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