Planet Golf — 01 January 2017 by GW staff and news services
Tiger sets early-season PGA schedule

Tiger Woods’ 2017 schedule is beginning to take shape.

Woods has committed to three PGA Tour events: the Farmers Insurance Open on Jan. 26-29 in San Diego; Genesis Open on Feb. 16-19 in Pacific Palisades, California; and The Honda Classic on Feb. 23-26 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. 

His foundation, which runs the Genesis Open, had previously announced his plans to compete at Riviera.

Woods also commit to the European Tour’s Dubai Desert Classic on Feb. 2-5, which means he will play four events in a five-week span in January and February.

The Farmers Insurance Open is scheduled to be Woods’ first official PGA Tour start since the Wyndham Championship in August 2015. Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines’ South Course, matching his PGA Tour record for most wins at a single course. He’s also won eight times at Bay Hill Club & Lodge (Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard) and Firestone Country Club (World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational).

Woods’ success at Torrey Pines started with his childhood victories at the Junior World Championship and continued with seven Farmers victories, including four in a row from 2005 to 2008. Torrey Pines also is the site of his last major victory, the 2008 U.S. Open.

Woods last played at the Farmers in 2015 — one week after shooting 82-75 at the Phoenix Open — but withdrew in the first round because of a back injury. Woods played in nine more events that year before having two back surgeries that sidelined him for more than a year.

Woods returned from a 15-month hiatus at last month’s Hero World Challenge. He shot 73-65-70-76 to finish 15th among the 17 players who completed 72 holes, while also leading the field with 24 birdies.

“I would like in my heart of hearts to play a full schedule next year,” Woods said after the Hero. “This (season) is going to be a bit different because, quite frankly, I haven’t done it in a while, so we’re going to be smart about it.”

His most recent victory at Torrey Pines came in 2013, when he won five times and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year for the 11th time.

The Genesis Open and The Honda Classic should provide insight into the health of Woods’ surgically-repaired back. The tournaments are on consecutive weeks on opposite sides of the country. 

Woods last played at Riviera Country Club in 2006; the course also was the site of his PGA Tour debut, when he was invited to the event in 1992 as a 16-year-old amateur. He has never won in 10 appearances at Riviera, his most appearances at any course without a victory.

Woods has played in The Honda Classic four times. He missed the cut as an amateur in 1993, then returned to the tournament 19 years later after moving to nearby Jupiter. He finished runner-up to Rory McIlroy in his debut at PGA National’s Champion Course after a final-round 62. Woods also played The Honda in 2013 and 2014.

He withdrew from the final round of the 2014 event, then had his first microdiscectomy about a month later.

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