Tiger commits to play at Riviera

Tiger Woods officially committed to the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, where he made his first start in a PGA Tour event at the age of 16 in what was then the Nissan Los Angeles Open, on a sponsor’s exemption.

The 2017 Los Angeles-area event on the PGA Tour will be played Feb. 16-19 and will benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation.

“I’m very excited to come back to Riviera and compete in the Genesis Open,” said Woods, who grew up about an hour’s drive away in Cypress. “This is where it all started for me. It was my first PGA Tour event, I was 16 years old, I weighed about 105 pounds, and it was a life-changing moment for me.”

Woods was sophomore at Western Hills High in Anaheim when he played in the tournament and missed the cut. He has never won the tournament, but tied for second behind Ernie Els in 1999 at Riviera and lost in a playoff to Billy Mayfair in 1998, when the event was moved to Valencia Country Club because Riviera hosted the U.S. Senior Open that year.

Woods has not played in the event since 2006.

Earlier this month, Woods played for the first time in about 16 months following two back surgeries and finished 15th in a 17-player field in the Hero World Challenge, but showed flashes of the from that took him to 79 PGA Tour victories, including 14 major titles.

Woods usually starts his PGA Tour season in the Farmers Insurance Open, which he has won seven times. It will be played at Torrey Pines on Jan. 26-29.

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