Tiger Woods to make PGA Tour return at Riviera
LOS ANGELES – Tiger Woods will make his first competitive start of 2024 at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, the 15-time Major winner said on Feb 7.
Woods, who will serve as a player-host for the Feb 15-18 PGA Tour event that benefits his foundation, announced his decision on social media, saying: “Excited to be host next week.”
When the 48-year-old announced in January that he had ended his decade-long partnership with Nike, he closed his statement with the words “See you in LA!”, which suggested he was planning to participate at the Riviera.
The Genesis Invitational is one of the PGA Tour’s eight signature events in 2024 and features both a halfway cut and US$20 million (S$26.9 million) purse, including US$4 million for the winner.
This will mark Woods’ first official PGA Tour start since the 2023 Masters, where he withdrew before the third round and later had fusion surgery on his right ankle.
After sitting out most of 2023, Woods marked his return to professional golf at the end of November in an unofficial PGA Tour event – the Hero World Challenge – which featured a limited field and no cut.
Two weeks later, Woods competed with his son Charlie at the PNC Championship, which is a 36-hole event featuring two-player teams made up of a Major champion and a family member.
After playing at the PNC Championship, Woods said he felt in shape to carry out his plan of monthly competitive action in 2024.
“I’ll be able to walk and play,” Woods said after the final round of the Orlando event.
“We’ve been working out hard, been able to recover. We’ve been training every day, which is great. It’s been nice to knock off a lot of the rust and some of the doubt that I’ve had because quite frankly I haven’t hit a shot that counted in a long time,” he said.
The Masters will be held at Augusta National the week of April 8. The 2024 schedule sees the PGA Championship in May, the US Open in June and the British Open in July.
In 2023 at Riviera, Woods went one under par through four rounds and finished in a share of 45th place. – REUTERS, AFP