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Austin among top names at Disney Classic

The "she" would be his wife, Shannon, who grew up in the Wichita area and met Austin at a Nike Tour event. They moved to Kansas City so she could be close to home when he was on the road, and they moved to Derby, a small suburb outside Wichita, when they had kids.

"It's a great place to raise your family, my boys love it and I'm around family," Woody said.

There's only one drawback.

"I can't practice when I want," Austin said.

He still hasn't forgotten that first moment when he knew he wasn't in Florida anymore. It was his first winter in Kansas City, coming off his second year on tour. Austin walked into the kitchen and his wife asked him what he planned to do that day.

"I looked outside and it looked like an absolutely beautiful day," he said. "And I looked at the temperature and I said, 'I don't know. What do you when it's 27 degrees outside?' I don't know what to do. At that point, I had lived my entire life in Florida."

He still hasn't figured it out, and that's why the first part of the year has been a struggle.

Austin shuts it down after the season, usually starting his year at the Bob Hope Classic and arriving early enough to get in some practice. Even when the week is over, he still comes home to usually frigid weather.

He thinks that's why he started so slowly this year. But he sure had no qualms with how his season ended.

He won the Stanford St. Jude Classic for his third career victory, then challenged Tiger Woods in words and deeds at the PGA Championship, finishing two shots behind. His runner-up finish in a major was enough for him to earn the 10th and final spot on the Presidents Cup team, and he sure made a splash.

Austin doesn't have much to gain at Disney. He'll be eligible for all the majors in 2008 for the first time in a dozen years. The only golf left on his schedule after this is the Merrill Lynch Shootout, his first silly-season event.

But it's good to be home.

"I grew up down the road," he said. "I like coming back home. I get a chance to say 'Hi' to old friends and little bits of family that are still around. I always loved Florida, loved the heat. It's nice to get out of Wichita once in a while and get back to my roots."

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