American Perry urges Tiger to return

By Bernie McGuire

DOHA (Reuters) - World number 13 Kenny Perry called on Wednesday for fellow American Tiger Woods to end his self-imposed exile from golf.

Woods is taking an indefinite break from the sport after admitting last month he had cheated on his wife.

"Tiger needs to come back for himself rather than his golf and when he does I'm going to give him a hug and shake his hand and tell him if he needs to talk or if I can help in any way, I will," Perry told reporters on the eve of the Qatar Masters.

"Tiger needs to come back as, you know, we (in golf) are his family too."

The 49-year-old Perry has played in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup team events alongside Woods and knows the world number one well.

"I've been on the (U.S.) PGA Tour for 25 years and I enjoy going on tour each week because there are 150 guys I am pretty close to that I love to go and hang out with," added the veteran American.

"If he comes back to us I'm sure he'll get a lot of support from the players, I really do."

Perry, though, said no player was bigger than the game itself.

"The game of golf will go on with Tiger or without Tiger," he said. "You had (Ben) Hogan all the way up to Jack (Nicklaus) and Arnold (Palmer) and now you have Tiger stepping in.

After being heavily criticized for skipping the 2008 British Open, Perry indicated he would compete in July's edition at St Andrews.

"I really got crucified when I elected not to contest the 2008 British Open," he said. "But I finished sixth in Milwaukee and I was able to accomplish my goal and make the Ryder Cup team.

"My whole life has been in America, now I'm comfortable with my life and I want to see the world a little bit. It's a great opportunity for me to come over here and see what it's all about and I'm pleasantly surprised." (Editing by Tony Jimenez.)