LOS ANGELES: Former world number one Tiger Woods announced Thursday he will play his first US PGA Tour event of 2018 in three weeks at Torrey Pines and another three weeks later at Riviera.
Woods, a 14-time major champion making his latest comeback from nagging back injuries, will have his 2018 debut from January 25-28 in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, where he has won seven PGA event titles and the 2008 US Open, his most recent major triumph.
Woods also said he will compete at the Genesis Open at Riviera in Los Angeles, his first appearance there since 2006. Woods will serve as host of the event, which benefits his charity foundation.
“Excited to start my season off in SoCal at @FarmersInsOpen and @genesisopen,” Woods said in a Twitter posting.
The February 15-18 event is on the same Riviera layout where Woods played his first PGA event in 1992 as an amateur on a sponsor’s exemption.
“I’m very excited to be back at Riviera,” Woods said. “I haven’t played at Riviera in a tournament in a very long time. To be able to play in an event that I used to come to as an amateur, as a junior and now as the tournament host, that is on one of the most historic sites in all of golf, it’s a dream come true.”
Woods, whose 79 US PGA titles are three shy of Sam Snead’s all-time record, won PGA crowns at Torrey Pines in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2013 and is the event’s all-time leading money winner with $6,856,015.
“Tiger shares a rich history with Torrey Pines,” said tournament director Peter Ripa. “We are excited to have him join our field once again.
“His legacy already cemented, we look forward to, together with our fans, watching as Tiger writes the latest chapter of his storied career.”
Others committed to playing at Torrey Pines include Spain’s Jon Rahm, Britain’s Justin Rose and Americans Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson.
Woods, a 14-time major champion, missed the entire 2015-16 season with back issues and a comeback attempt was cut short by pain last February, leading to another back procedure last April.
Woods was sidelined nearly 10 months until last month’s Hero World Challenge charity event in the Bahamas, where he shared ninth in a field of 18 and said he was finally playing without pain. --AFP