Australia want Tiger back

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Fallen idol or not, Australia would welcome Tiger Woods back with open arms if he ever wants to return.

Fallen idol or not, Australia would welcome Tiger Woods back with open arms if he ever wants to return.

Tim Holding, the State of Victoria’s Tourism and events minister, made this much clear on Tuesday after disclosing that while the World’s No 1 golfer did receive an appearance fee of US$3m to play in the Australian Masters, his visit and spectacular victory had generated almost twice the original forecast.

At least A$34 million (US31 million) had been raked in by the local economy via ticket sales, hotel and restaurant bookings and taxi and retail receipts.

Since then Woods’ stocks with most of his sponsors and many of his fans have tumbled following a mysterious Thanksgiving Day SUV auto crash and the series of startling revelations it sparked that have subsequently seen him branded as an unfaithful husband and serial philanderer.

But despite all this, Holding said: “We have made it clear that Tiger is welcome to come play golf any time in Victoria

“He has obviously made some announcements about his golfing future — we respect that and we respect his privacy.”

Woods’ Australian venture was hugely successful, drawing massive galleries of unprecedented numbers, but ironically it may well have provided the celebrity-hunting media with the first chink in his squeaky clean image.

Although she insisted that her visit to Melbourne had nothing to do with Woods, one of his alleged mistress, Rachel Uchitel, was also in Melbourne during the Masters tournament and just a few days afterwards the first report claiming that he was having an affair with her appeared in the National Inquirer.

Two days later he was knocked unconscious when his Cadillac SUV hit a tree outside his house in the early hours of the morning following Thanksgiving Day.

He immediately went to ground and his life has never been the same since.

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