LOS ANGELES • After such a long injury layoff, it is not surprising that Tiger Woods plans to start his 2017 season at a familiar place of triumph.
That was exactly what the former world No. 1 golfer had in mind, as the organisers announced on Wednesday that he had committed to the US PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
The Jan 26-29 event will be the 14-time Major winner's first tournament of the year, after returning from a 15-month injury layoff last month at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.
Woods has won the Tour event at Torrey seven times (1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2013), and also won his last Major title there in 2008, beating Rocco Mediate for the US Open title.
"We're thrilled our fans will have the opportunity to see Tiger in addition to what is already a very strong field for the Farmers Insurance Open," said Peter Ripa, chief executive officer of the Century Club, which manages the Farmers Insurance Open.
"He has experienced tremendous success at Torrey Pines and in our tournament, and we couldn't think of a better place for him to start the year."
"Tiger's presence will add to a deep and talented field that includes many of the top stars in the game as well as some exciting up-and-coming players."
Woods was sidelined for more than a year after undergoing back surgery. His last appearance at the Farmers was in 2015, when he pulled out in the first round with back trouble.
The 41-year-old, who has 79 PGA Tour victories, will be making his first start in a full-field event since he tied for 10th in the Wyndham Championship in August 2015.
He also has committed to play in the Genesis Open on Feb 16-19 at the Riviera Country Club and the Honda Classic on Feb 23-26 at the PGA National.
While Woods, who is now ranked a lowly 652nd, has yet to announce his full schedule leading up to the US Masters in April, he is clearly planning to get plenty of tournament rounds under his belt before his tilt at a fifth green jacket in Augusta.
Woods is expected to play the March 16-19 Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, an event he has won a record eight times.
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE