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Qataris refuse to pay Tiger's whopping appearance fee

Tiger Woods waves after making a birdie on the 16th hole during the final round of the World Challenge golf tournament in Thousand Oaks, Cal
Tiger Woods waves after making a birdie on the 16th hole during the final round of the World Challenge golf tournament in Thousand Oaks, Cal

(Reuters) - Tiger Woods may guarantee packed galleries but even the oil-rich Qataris cannot afford the former world number one's appearance fee for the only European Tour event in the Gulf state.

The American's involvement at the January 23-26 Qatar Masters would cost a whopping $3 million, said Qatar Golf Association president Hassan al Nuaimi.

"Tiger Woods demands $3 million just for an appearance, if he were to compete - which is not worth paying for a tournament of $2.5 million prize money," he told the Doha News.

Instead, 14-times major winner Woods begins his season at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship next week before returning home to compete in the U.S. PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open.

Woods finished tied third in Abu Dhabi last year and has never played in Qatar.

Paul Lawrie will defend his title at the Qatar event where the field includes world number four Justin Rose of Britain and American world number nine Jason Dufner.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Alastair Himmer)

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