- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 8, 2007

From no place but his own good heart, Tiger Woods is giving Washington a very nice gift. We’re talking about the AT&T; National golf tournament and the simultaneous announcement of a Tiger Woods Learning Center here as the first of his philanthropic activities in the region. Taxpayers won’t pay a dime for what will undoubtedly be a major sporting event, drawing some of the PGA’s best golfers and financing a worthy educational institution. It’s all an expression of this expectant father’s good and proper patriotism.

This last bit isn’t our flourish on the good news, but Tiger’s own description. He seems to be drawn to this city by patriotism. He will give active-duty military servicemen and women free admission as thanks for their service. He describes the tournament as a tribute to the U.S. military and to his father, a onetime Green Beret who served in Vietnam and obviously nurtured Tiger’s philanthropy, interest in education and overall character. Earl Woods died of cancer last year.

To hear Tiger describe the motivations behind the project is to understand the man he is, and to appreciate the life of an amazing 31-year-old athlete. “Our commander-in-chief says go, and you go,” he told The Washington Post. “That’s what you do as a serviceman or servicewoman, you do your duty and do your job, and whether you’re praised for it or not, that’s your job and your occupation and that’s what you chose.”

In retrospect, one of the most striking things here is the speed with which this project was assembled. In just two weeks Tiger brought together a major corporate sponsor in AT&T;, secured the dates of July 5-8, arranged a prize of $6 million and centered the tournament on the Tiger Woods Foundation. In a city accustomed to long and costly battles, sporting and otherwise, this was sweet, and astonishing.

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