Tiger Woods WELLINGTON, New Zealand]

MANILA, FEBRUARY 19, 2009 (STAR) Tiger Woods is “a few weeks” away from a return to the PGA tour and could decide within days where that return will take place, his caddie Steve Williams said Wednesday.

Williams told Television New Zealand in an exclusive interview that Woods is close to ending his long injury layoff and will return to the tour mentally stronger than before.

“It’s going to be anytime, shortly,” Williams said.

“He’s probably 95 percent of the way there. He was waiting for the birth of his second child which just came last week so he’s ready to go. He just needs a little bit more walking. He hasn’t been able to walk too well,” he added.

“Anytime in the next few weeks he’s going to tee it up. He definitely wants to play a couple of tournaments before Augusta so any day now he’s going to make a decision when he’s going to play.”

Speculation has increased over the past week that Woods would make his return at the Accenture Match Play Championship in Tucson, Arizona starting Feb. 25. His wife, Elin, gave birth to their second child – a boy named Charlie Axel – earlier in the month.

Woods has not played since reconstructive surgery on his left knee a week after winning the US Open in June.

Williams said Woods had remodeled his swing to accommodate his injured knee and had been refreshed mentally by his long break from top golf. (AP)

PSA honors MVP as sports patron Updated February 19, 2009 12:00 AM

[PHOTO AT LEFT - Manny V. Pangilinan]

MANILA, Philippines - For his unwavering support to Philippine sports, the Philippine Sportswriters Association will honor business magnate Manny V. Pangilinan as the Sports Patron of the Year in the San Miguel Corp.-PSA Annual Awards Night tomorrow at the Alegria Lounge of the Manila Pavilion Hotel.

Pangilinan, chairman of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company and the man at the helm of Smart Communications Inc., has given RP sports a big boost the last few years by way of spearheading the programs of basketball and boxing and continuing sponsorships of other sports, including badminton.

The son of a Manila banker and a cum laude graduate (Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics) at the Ateneo de Manila University will also address the 60-plus awardees during his speech that serves as one of the highlights of the two-hour ceremony sponsored by the Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor).

Joining Pangilinan in toasting the best and brightest of Philippine sports in 2008 are some of the country’s top officials led by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Harry Angping, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco and International Olympic Committee (IOC) representative to the Philippines Frank Elizalde.

“We are truly proud and honored to have Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan as our special guest on a night when the country’s sportswriting fraternity honors the Filipino athletes who did us proud in the year just passed,” said Aldrin Cardona of the Daily Tribune, president of the country’s 60-year old media organization, composed of editors and sportswriters from the national newspapers.

Pangilinan is expected to present the Athlete of the Year award to boxing hero Manny Pacquiao, recipient of the highest individual honor bestowed by the PSA for a brilliant 2008 when he won all of his three fights in different divisions, including a stunning eighth round technical knockout of ring legend Oscar De La Hoya.

The Filipino boxing icon is likewise set to be enshrined into the PSA Hall of Fame.

Eleven others will be cited as major awardees during the ceremony that starts at 8 p.m. and aired live over DZSR Sports Radio 918. Hosting the affair are broadcasters Ed Piczon and Patricia Bermudez-Hizon.

Recipients of the major award include golfers Jennifer Rosales, Dorothy Delasin, Angelo Que and Dottie Ardina, cager Kelly Williams, wushu bet Willy Wang, pool player Dennis Orcollo, boxer Nonito Donaire, horses Go Army and Ibarra and jockey Jonathan Hernandez.

Meanwhile, those who failed to get their invitations to the awards night may get it at the reception area of the Alegria Lounge.

The affair is also supported by Villar Foundation, Senator Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, Shakey’s, Accel, PBA, PBL, NCRAA, PCSO, SBP, Purefoods, Ginebra, Alaska, Sta. Lucia, Rain or Shine, Ever Bilena, Harbour Centre, Liga Pilipinas, Secretary Lito Atienza, Pharex, GAB and Mighty Sports Association.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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