Woods family expecting birth of child around tourney
Posted: Wednesday January 24, 2007 5:44PM; Updated: Wednesday January 24, 2007 5:52PM
Tiger Woods' wife, Elin, is expected to give birth in the same month as the British Open.
SAN DIEGO, Jan 24 (Reuters) -- Tiger Woods is prepared to miss the British Open if the birth of his first child clashes with the third major of the season.
The Open championship takes place at Carnoustie in Scotland from July 19-22, the same month as Woods's Swedish wife Elin is expected to give birth.
"If it happens, it happens. If it crosses over, it crosses over," the world No. 1 said at a news conference on Wednesday as he prepared for this week's Buick Invitational. "That's the most important thing, not another golf tournament. I just wouldn't go. If she's going to have it during the week of the Open, I just don't go."
Woods, who won last year's Open at Hoylake in England, knows full well the arrival of his first child will change the way he prepares for tournaments.
"Our priorities do change," the 12-time major champion said. "You're bringing a new life into this world and it's 100 percent dependent on you for survival.
"It'll be interesting to figure out my tournament schedule, preparations and commitments that I have to my sponsors, to try and balance all that with adding a new family member.
"Usually with golf you're just preparing for the here and now and then all of a sudden you look a little bit further out in the future."
Woods is bidding for a seventh consecutive victory on the PGA Tour at Torrey Pines this week in his first tournament of the year.
However, the 31-year-old American is playing down the relevance of his six successive wins dating back to last year's British Open.
"As far as the streak is concerned, it's a PGA Tour streak," he said. "It's not really a win streak.
"I lost at the HSBC World Match Play Championship in England, I lost at the Ryder Cup and I finished second in China and second in Japan. I was on the losing streak there for a bit."
Few would bet against Woods winning this week at a venue where he has triumphed three times in the last four years.
"This is one of my favorite courses on the whole Tour so to come back here and play is exciting," he said.
"The offseason was really nice and I've been very pleased with the progress I've been making with (swing coach) Hank (Haney). I'm really excited to get back in competition again."
Woods, who has not played competitively since winning the Target World Challenge in California midway through last month, says he has never relaxed as much between seasons.
"No doubt about it," he added. "This year I'm looking forward to the year and what's going to transpire.
"Last year I was not looking forward to the year and what was going to transpire."
Woods took a nine-week break after last year's Masters in April to deal with the illness and subsequent death of his father Earl, who lost a long battle with cancer on May 3.
The Buick Invitational, the fourth stop on the 2007 PGA Tour, starts on Thursday.