Tiger Woods is returning to competition without the use of a cart for the first time since July and announced Friday that he will be playing at the Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles.
Woods is hoping to play next week’s tournament in Riviera, where he’s hosting what has traditionally had West Coast swing’s strongest field even before it’s boosted with $20 million in prize money.
The uncertainty came from a bout of plantar fasciitis while preparing to play in December. That stopped him from competing in his Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. He played a 12-hole TV show and the PNC championship with his son. Both times he was allowed to ride in a cart.
Carts aren’t allowed on the PGA Tour — Casey Martin used one under the Americans with Disabilities Act — and Woods said he wasn’t interested in using one to play at the highest level.
“I’m ready to play an ACTUAL PGA Tour event next week,” Woods said on Twitter, an indication that he only played three majors last year.
I’m ready to play an ACTUAL PGA Tour event next week @thegenesisinv
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) February 10, 2023
It’s his first regular PGA Tour event since October 25, 2020, when he finished 72nd against a 78-man field in his Zozo Championship title defense. The tournament was moved from Japan to Sherwood Country Club in California this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Woods has said he can hit all the shots, “I just can’t get from point A to point B.”
“This is great,” said Max Homa of the news after his second round at the Phoenix Open. “I imagine we’ll carry him down the hill on the 1 and up on the 18, which wouldn’t bother anyone. But it’s great. I’m really glad he’s back. I think we’re privileged every time he plays now.”
Woods’ ability to play next week is an encouraging sign that he will return to the Masters in April, although the absence of the Bahamas was an indication that Woods cannot fully control when his legs and feet become active.
“Every time Tiger gets to play on the golf course, the tournament just gets better,” said Jon Rahm at the Phoenix Open. “So I hope he can play comfortably and I hope he can play well.”
Woods was recovering from fifth back surgery in February 2021 when he crashed his SUV on a coastal road in Los Angeles two days after the Genesis Invitational, sustaining multiple fractures to his right leg and ankle.
Woods missed 14 months and was notable for returning to the Masters last April and making the cut. He also made the cut in the PGA Championship, only to be eliminated with a severe limp after the third round from Southern Hills. He skipped the US Open to ensure he was ready for St Andrews but missed the cut at the British Open.
“It’s great,” Justin Thomas said at the Phoenix Open. “Anytime he’s on the property let alone playing it’s great for the event.”
Riviera is where Woods made his PGA Tour debut as a 16-year-old amateur in 1992 and remains the only course he never quite mastered. He played 11 times as a pro at Riviera, most places without a win.
The event will host 19 of the top 20 players in the world.
https://www.ocregister.com/2023/02/10/tiger-woods-announces-he-will-return-to-action-next-week-at-the-genesis-invitational/ Tiger Woods will return to action next week at the Genesis Invitational – Orange County Register