Tiger Woods will play next week’s Genesis Invitational, his first official competitive start since withdrawing from last year’s Masters during the third round.
Woods, 48, had been expected to play the tournament that he hosts at Riviera Country Club outside of Los Angeles. It is run by and benefits his foundation.
Excited to be a playing host next week @thegenesisinv pic.twitter.com/YvtJhe5DjB
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) February 7, 2024
In December at the Hero World Challenge, a 20-player unofficial event in the Bahamas, Woods expressed optimism about playing more this year after having ankle surgery in April following his Masters withdrawal.
Called a subtalar fusion, the surgery kept Woods out for the summer. But when he returned, he walked far better than he had at any time since coming back from a February 2021 car crash that severely injured his lower right leg, ankle and foot. He finished 18th at the Hero and then played the PNC Championship with his son Charlie two weeks later.
He reported that the surgery was inevitable at some point, that it was “just bone on bone” but the ankle is no longer giving him the same trouble.
“I think the best scenario would be maybe a tournament a month,” Woods said at the Hero. “I think that’s realistic whether that’s—you would have to start with maybe at Genesis and something in March, near the Players (Championship). Again, we have set up right now the biggest events are one per month. It sets itself up for that. Now, I need to get myself ready for all that. I think this week is a big step in that direction.”
Woods played at Riviera last year and finished tied for 45th before withdrawing from the Masters, where he made the cut for the 23rd consecutive time.
The PGA Championship in May returns to Valhalla in Louisville, Ky., where Woods won his third straight major on his way to four in a row at the 2000 tournament. Woods missed the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 but factored in it in both 1999 and 2005, when he finished second to Michael Campbell. And the British Open is at Royal Troon, where Woods missed Henrik Stenson’s 2016 victory but played in 1997 and 2004.