Continued from page 1

Not since the return of Major League Baseball in 2005 — though at considerable and mounting cost to D.C. taxpayers — has a sporting event created so much energy and excitement and buzz.

One golfing friend told me not to look for him the rest of the week because “I”m going out to see Tiger.” He obviously was not alone. Montgomery County police were geared up for 25,000 to 40,000 fans flocking to the Bethesda course and the four satellite parking sites.

While adults are paying a bargain price of $25 a ticket to glimpse greatness, Tiger“s Tournament is free to children 12 and younger.

Count children as another beneficiary of the tournament, aside from its $6 million purse, through the Tiger Woods Foundation.

When Woods announced his plans for the tournament, many in the area, including yours truly, voiced the hope that he would set up a Tiger Woods Learning Center in our region similar to the one near Los Angeles for students in grades four through 12.

Though he has said he would like to open a center here, we are eagerly awaiting a firm commitment.

He could start with presenting some of the proceeds from the inaugural Earl Woods Memorial AT&T Tournament to the deserving youth programs under the leadership of the venerable Jimmy Garvin at the historic Langston Golf Course programs in far Northeast.

Come to think of it, that area around the 55-acre site abutting the Anacostia River would be the perfect place to incorporate the Interpretive Education Center that serves 500 District youths into a Tiger Woods Learning Center.

Most of all, it is a welcome relief and a hopeful sign that an athlete of Tiger Woods‘ stature presents such a positive role model not only to children and young people but to his fellow athletes. While too many of them seem bent on being Bad Boyz, the gracious and respectful Woods is in a class all his own where he walks the walk far beyond the fairway.