By Carlo Chikomba
Tiger Woods has announced that he will be returning to the Genesis Open, due to be held in the second week of February at Riviera Country Club in California.
The former World Number One made his return to competitive golf earlier this month at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas and although he finished 15th out of 17 participating golfers he displayed brief flashes of his old self.
Woods shot 65 in the second round of the tournament previously known as the Northern Trust Open that is now hosted by his foundation. It was the first tournament he played in about 16 months after undergoing two back surgeries.
In the Bahamas, Woods showed signs of recovery as he played 72 holes of competitive golf without experiencing any back issues and even unleashed a few max swing efforts at times.
“This is where it all started for me,” Woods said in a statement announcing he’s participation in the Genesis Open. “It was my first PGA TOUR event, I was 16 years old, I weighed about 105 pounds, and it was a life-changing moment for me.”
The American golfer who has accumulated 79 tournament victories in total, three fewer than the legendary Sam Snead, has not won on tour since 2013 with a combination of poor form and recurring back problems taking its toll on his career.
He has not played in the tournament at Riviera since 2006 and is yet to announce his full schedule for 2017.
However, the 40-year old has admitted he needs to play more in order to retain his sharpness and therefore will more likely consider taking part in other tournaments in the coming season such as the Farmers Insurance Open in January, the Waste Management Phoenix Open or the Dubai Desert Classic in early February, and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, which takes place the following week.