Tiger to play in next week’s Genesis Invitational

Tiger to play in next week’s Genesis Invitational

Tiger Woods is returning to the golf course at next week’s Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club outside Los Angeles, he announced Friday.

It will be Woods’ first competitive rounds in an official event since he missed the cut at the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews in July. It will be his first start in a nonmajor since the 2020 Zozo Championship.

“I’m ready to play an ACTUAL PGA Tour event next week @thegenesisinv,” the 15-time major champion tweeted.

Woods, 47, hosts the Genesis Invitational, which benefits his TGR Foundation. He was in the Los Angeles area for the event in February 2021 when he suffered major leg injuries in a car crash.

He competed in just nine rounds in three majors last season, his first starts since the crash. He finished in 47th at the Masters, withdrew from the PGA Championship after the third round and missed the cut at The Open. Woods also withdrew from the Hero World Challenge, an unofficial event he hosted in the Bahamas, in early December because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot.

Woods did team up with world No. 1 Rory McIlroy to play against Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas in a 12-hole competition in The Match on Dec. 10. He also played with his son, Charlie, in the PNC Championship in Orlando, Florida, on Dec. 17-18. He was able to use a golf cart in both events.

“It’s great,” Thomas said at the WM Phoenix Open upon learning that Woods would play next week. “Any time he is on property, let alone playing, is great for the event.”

Woods told reporters Dec. 18 that he felt like he had come a long way in his recovery, but the plantar fasciitis was a setback.

“It’s been a lot harder than people probably imagine,” Woods said. “There’s some of the players who are very close to me know what I’ve kind of gone through, and they’re the ones that keep encouraging me to back off a little bit. But that’s not really in my nature. My nature is trying to get better. And I have. And through work ethic, I was able to, as I said, play and compete in three major championships this year.

“And this offseason hasn’t really been an offseason. … As you’ve seen, I can hit golf balls. I can do all that. I can practice at home. I can hit shots around the green. I can do all that. I just can’t get from point A to point B.”

The Genesis Invitational is a designated event in the PGA Tour’s revamped schedule with a $20 million purse. This year’s event will feature 23 of the top 25 players in the Official World Golf Ranking as well as the top 30 in the FedExCup standings, including McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele and Collin Morikawa.

“Any time Tiger can be present on the golf course playing makes the tournament even better,” Rahm said Thursday at the Phoenix Open. “So, I’m hoping he can play comfortably and I’m hoping he can play well.”

Added Max Homa: “That’s awesome. I imagine we’ll be carrying him down the hill on 1 and up it on 18, which no one would mind. But it’s awesome. I’m really glad he’s back. I think we’re privileged any time he plays now.”

Woods made his PGA Tour debut as an amateur at Riviera Country Club in 1992.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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