Tiger will open year at Torrey Pines

Tiger Woods said even a week ago he wasn’t sure when he would play again, but it was a pretty good bet he would play in the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades in the middle of next month.

Then Woods took to Twitter on Thursday and wrote: “Excited to start my season off in SoCal at @FarmersInsOpen and @genesisopen.”

The Farmers Insurance Open will be played Jan. 25-28 at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, and the Genesis Open is scheduled for Feb. 15-18 at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.

The 42-year-old Woods has won a record seven titles in the Farmers and also captured the 2008 U.S. Open, the last of his 14 major titles, in an epic 19-hole playoff over Rocco Mediate, at Torrey Pines.

Woods played his first PGA Tour event in what was then the Los Angeles Open at Riviera when he was 16, and surprisingly he has never won on the classic George C. Thomas layout in Santa Monica Canyon.

“I’m very excited to be back at Riviera,” Woods said in a statement. “I haven’t played at Riviera in a tournament in a very long time. To be able to play in an event that I used to come to as an amateur, as a junior and now as the tournament host, that is on one of the most historic sites in all of golf, it’s a dream come true.”

The Genesis Open is now operated by Woods’ event management company, TGR Live, and benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation.

His best results in the Los Angeles-area event were second in 1998, when he lost in a playoff to Billy Mayfair at Valencia Country Club the only time the tournament was not played at Riviera, and a tie for second behind Ernie Els the next year.

Woods, in his first event following his fourth back surgery, was impressive at times while finishing in a tie for ninth last month in his Hero World Challenge at Albany Resort in the Bahamas.

With 79 PGA Tour victories, including those 14 majors, Woods has said that if he remains healthy he believes he can make runs at Sam Snead’s record of 82 wins on the circuit and Jack Nicklaus’ mark of 18 titles in the Grand Slam events.


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