After 17-month hiatus, Tiger Woods could play 4 events in 5 weeks

Bob Harig [ Source: ESPN ] - January 06, 2017

Tiger Woods will make his first appearance on the PGA Tour in 2017 at the Farmers Insurance Open later this month.

The tournament at Torrey Pines near San Diego, which begins Jan. 26, will mark Woods' first official event in 17 months; he tied for 10th at the Wyndham Championship in August 2015. He finished 15th last month at the Hero World Challenge, an 18-player event in the Bahamas that benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation but is deemed unofficial by the PGA Tour.

Woods confirmed Thursday that he would play the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, a European Tour event that he has won twice, the week after the Farmers.

"I've always enjoyed playing in Dubai, and it's fantastic to see how the city has grown phenomenally from when I first started playing there," Woods said, according to a tournament news release.

Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, had said the 41-year-old "wants to get in one overseas event." Woods last played in Dubai in 2014, and tournament officials had been hopeful of a return for Woods, who would see the likes of defending champion Danny Willett, Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson at that event.

With that commitment, Woods is planning to play in back-to-back weeks, 12 time zones apart. Woods took more than a year off following a third back surgery in October 2015.

In a blog post on his website Thursday, Woods called the Hero World Challenge a "positive step" and said he is still working on a club-ball combination.

"I am working hard to sharpen my game for 2017, and my goal is simple: to win," Woods wrote. "Winning takes care of itself."

Steinberg said Woods has also committed to the Honda Classic, which is the 14-time major champion's de facto hometown event near his home in South Florida. The Honda follows the Genesis Open at Riviera, where Woods had previously committed, meaning he is scheduled to play four tournaments in five weeks.

"Returning to Riviera Country Club for the Genesis Open, Feb. 16-19, is going to be great," Woods wrote. "Although I haven't competed there since 2006, it's where I played in my first PGA Tour event in 1992 at age 16. It's huge for my foundation and a big test for my TGR Live team, which will run the tournament, because we're coming home to Riviera with all its history. It was actually the first PGA Tour event I attended with my dad, which makes it more special."

Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, including the 2008 U.S. Open. His last victory there came in 2013. But in 2014, he missed the secondary cut after 54 holes, and two years ago, he withdrew because of lower-back problems during the first round.

Others scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open include defending champion Brandt Snedeker, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day and Dustin Johnson.


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