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Woods offers praise for Quail Hollow
Updated: 2004-05-06 13:56

Tiger Woods is playing in North Carolina for the first time in five years, although odds are he won't wait that long to return.

Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the seventh hole during the Pro-Am of the Wachovia Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday May 5, 2004. [AP]
Woods made it sound like the Wachovia Championship will be a regular on his tight tournament schedule.

"I can see myself playing consistently here," he said Wednesday. "It's such a great golf course. It's so challenging. We don't get a chance to play too many golf courses like this anymore — old school, a traditional-style golf course, tree-lined fairways. It's really rare and enjoyable to play."

The Wachovia Championship is only in its second year, but it got rave reviews last year. A good field a year ago turned into a great one with the addition of Woods and Masters champion Phil Mickelson.

"I heard so many great things over this past year about what a wonderful event this is and how great it is run, and how phenomenal the golf course is," Mickelson said.

Along with a great course (Quail Hollow), tournament officials take pampering to a new level. It began in January, when tournament director Kym Hougham left players a bottle of Dom Perignon in their lockers at the winners-only Mercedes Championships.

Players are given a Mercedes-Benz to drive for the week. There is a choice of three dining rooms. Even the caddies, who don't always get the best treatment, are allowed to valet park their cars.

Still, it starts with the grass between the ropes.

"You could hold a major here tomorrow," Chris DiMarco said. "The bottom line is, if you have a really good golf course, we will (play)."

Quail Hollow used to have the Kemper Open, but it was moved some 20 years ago to the Washington, D.C., area and first was played at Congressional. Eventually, it moved to the TPC at Avenel.

Perhaps it's no coincidence that tournament, now called the Booz Allen Classic, draws one of the weakest fields of the PGA Tour summer season.

The Booz Allen will be played next year at Congressional. Woods is among those said to be giving it consideration.

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