Golf-Buick Open defence up in the air for expectant father Woods

CHICAGO, May 22 (Reuters) Tiger Woods may not be able to defend his Buick Open title next month because of the impending arrival of his first child.

The world number one's Swedish wife Elin is expected to give birth in early July, while the Buick Open takes place in Grand Blanc, Michigan from June 28 to July 1.

''The tournament is kind of up in the air for me but I intend on playing,'' Woods, 31, told reporters at the Buick Open media day n yesterday. ''I'm really looking forward to coming back.

''We're very excited about our impending family extension here shortly, but I intend to be there (at the Buick), intend to play, intend on defending.'' However Woods, a winner of 12 major titles who has long targeted the record 18 claimed by Jack Nicklaus, said his family would come first in any conflict with golf.

''Our child will be our number one priority,'' he added.

''Golf will be secondary. It will be harder. I don't really sleep all that much, so I guess I get all the night duties.

''It will be a fun challenge, and also a very interesting one because we're both inexperienced in that. We've never gone through this before.

Woods, who lost his father Earl last year after a long battle with cancer, said he hoped to follow in his footsteps as a parent.

''My father earned my respect and trust. Hopefully I can do the same for my child.'' Woods, who has won three times on the 2007 PGA Tour, is scheduled to return to action at next week's Memorial tournament in Dublin, Ohio.


Story first published: Tuesday, May 22, 2007, 8:03 [IST]
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