By Tom LaMarre
As expected, Tiger Woods will make his 2019 debut next week in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course www.torrey pines golf course.com in La Jolla.
Woods announced that he will play in the San Diego-area tournament for the 18th time, and he has won it a record seven times in addition to capturing the 2008 U.S. Open on the South Course at Torrey Pines in an epic 19-hole playoff with Rocco Mediate.
“We couldn’t be happier to have Tiger back in our field,” said Peter Ripa, chief executive officer of the Century Club of San Diego. “He really launched his fairy tale comeback season right here last January, and he has enjoyed incredible success at Torrey Pines Golf Course and in our tournament over the years. It will be exciting to see him alongside many of the game’s other top players Jan. 24-27.”
Woods, who turned 43 on Dec. 30, has not played in an official PGA Tour event since he ended a five-year victory drought and capped his comeback from four back surgeries by winning the season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club www.eastlakegolfclub.com in Atlanta.
That was his 80th victory on the circuit, trailing only Sam Snead’s 82.
Woods joins a strong field that includes Jason Day of Australia, Justin Rose of England, Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State, Jon Rahm of Spain, Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler of Murrieta, Patrick Reed, Marc Leishman of Australia, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay, Alex Noren of Sweden, Gary Woodland and Hideki Matsuyama of Japan.
In addition to winning the Farmers in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, Woods has six other top-10 finishes at Torrey Pines and leads the tournament’s all-time earnings list with $6.9 million.
Woods, who turned 43 on Dec. 30, also has committed to play next month in the Genesis Open on Feb. 14-17 at Riviera Country Club www.therivieracountryclub.com in Pacific Palisades, but said he will cut down his playing schedule this year.
The Genesis benefits Woods’ TGR Foundation.