Tiger commits to gruelling schedule in coming weeks

LOS ANGELES • Tiger Woods is confident that his battered 41-year-old body can withstand the rigours of playing in four golf tournaments over the next five weeks.

The 14-time Major winner, who returned to competition last month at the Hero World Challenge following a 15-month injury layoff, has committed to a hectic schedule which will see him open his 2017 season at this week's Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego.

"I have played one time in the last 18 months," the American said during a news conference on Monday at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. "I just need to get in some tournament golf. I am looking forward to it."

After the Farmers at the Torrey Pines course, Woods will fly to the United Arab Emirates for the Dubai Desert Classic from Feb 2-5, followed by the Genesis Open at Riviera from Feb 16-19.

He then travels home to Florida to take part in the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens (Feb 23-26).

The Farmers Open will be Woods' first full field tournament since undergoing back surgery in 2015.

  • Tiger Woods' tournament schedule: 
    • Jan 26-29: Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego, California.
    • Feb 2-5: Dubai Desert Classic in United Arab Emirates 
    • Feb 16-19: Genesis Open in Riviera, California
     Feb 23-26: Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Asked if he is physically up to the task with all the injuries he has endured over the past several years, Woods said: "That is a concern but I am looking forward to it. I feel I am strong enough to handle the workload."

Woods admitted that he once doubted whether he would ever return to golf.

"There was a time when I didn't know if I could ever swing a golf club again and play with my kids," he said.

The former world No. 1 may be far from his top form, but he says he still has his sights set on competing in the Majors and his first order of business is the Masters in April.

"I am hoping to get everything right so I can play," he said. "I am thinking about it (Masters) now."

Woods has won the PGA Tour's Torrey Pines tournament seven times - in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2013.

"It was the first PGA tournament I went to," Woods said. "So I got exposed to pro golf there."

Woods last won a Major title at the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines by beating Rocco Mediate in an epic 19-hole playoff despite playing with a troublesome left knee that later required surgery.

His last PGA title was at the 2013 WGC event in Akron, Ohio.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2017, with the headline 'Tiger commits to gruelling schedule in coming weeks'. Print Edition | Subscribe