Woods set for Buick Open

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/a/aptigerwoods2.jpg' class='caption'> Tiger Woods smiled and joked with pro-am partner Jerome Bettis, the retired Super Bowl winner, as they walked off the ninth hole.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:36 IST
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Tiger Woods smiled and joked with pro-am partner Jerome Bettis, the retired Super Bowl winner, as they walked off the ninth hole. Woods later walked across a green when he spotted a friend from junior golf, Gilberto Morales. After a warm embrace they spent the next 15 minutes catching up between shots. Woods also posed for pictures, signed autographs and did a TV interview on Wednesday, the day before the start of the Buick Open. The last time he was in the public eye, the scene was dramatically different. He was sobbing uncontrollably in the arms of caddie Steve Williams and wife Elin two weeks ago at the British Open after winning for the first time since his father's death in May. The touching moment was replayed on TV and captured by photographers, but Woods said he hasn't seen it. "I remember being in Stevie's arms and crying like a baby and him pushing me away into my wife and just bawling there. I've never done that,'' he said. "It was the first time I've been in a golf tournament without Dad, either seeing me or being around physically, where I could call him," he added. Woods said the timing of one of his regular stops - two weeks before the US PGA Championship - couldn't be better. Second win But before Woods heads for Medinah in suburban Chicago, where he won the 1999 US PGA Championship, he'd like to win his second Buick Open. Buick, one of Woods' sponsors, announced it signed a four-year contract extension with Warwick Hills to keep the Buick Open here through 2010. The tournament will end on July 1 next year, placing it between the US and British Opens, instead of early August. Vijay Singh will attempt to be the first to win three straight Buick Opens and four overall in a field that includes four of the top five players on the US money list, with only Phil Mickelson missing. Singh and Woods will be joined by Jim Furyk, US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, British Open runner-up Chris DiMarco and crowd favorite John Daly. Woods won the Buick Open in 2002 and Furyk did the next year. After playing crusty and brown Royal Liverpool, lush fairways and greens at Warwick Hills welcome Woods and Co. Woods used his driver only once at Hoylake, but will break it out regularly this week about 60 miles (96 kilometers) north of Detroit. (AP)

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