Tiger Woods prepares for yet another return to the field. But this, for “The Big Cat”, really has more than one meaning. From tomorrow to Sunday (February 16-19) he will play at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California, The Genesis Invitational tournament which in 1992 (at the time it was called the Los Angeles Open), when he was still an amateur player, scored his debut on the PGA Tour.
Tiger Woods, schedule
The event falls two years after the serious car accident in which Woods, right back from the Riviera Country Club and aboard a Genesis car, risked his life and career. On top of that, this is a haunted tournament for Woods.
Ambassador and “host” of the event, the Californian phenomenon has never won it (he finished second twice). “I think I have what it takes to beat my opponents, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. This was, is and always will be my mentality”, Woods charged on the eve.
For the first time since October 2020, Tiger will return to star in a PGA Tour event other than a Major. And he will challenge, among others, 23 of the best 25 in the world. As far as the Top 25 is concerned, only the Australian Cameron Smith and the Chilean Joaquin Niemann will be missing (outgoing champion, he made the review his own in 2022), among the big names in LIV Golf in stark contrast to the PGA Tour.
And on the relationship that has been created between the new faces of the Separatist league and the loyalists of the PGA Tour, Tiger admits: “It is obvious that certain friendships have gone their separate ways. I don’t know what will happen during The Masters dinner in April where we will certainly have to honor Scottie Scheffler, champion in 2022”.
Woods also praised LeBron James, who broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA points record. “What he has done is simply incredible. I never thought that record could be surpassed. For consistency, inspiration, self-sacrifice, LeBron deserves all of this.
He is able to play in any position”. The appointment, which will guarantee 20 million dollars (8,000,000 more than in 2022, of which 3,600,000 will go to the winner), will also put world leadership up for grabs. Thanks to his success in Arizona at the Phoenix Open, Scottie Scheffler is back in first place and will have to watch his back from the Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, who aspires to take back the throne, and from the Spanish Jon Rahm, in great shape. In the first two rounds, McIlroy will play alongside Woods and Justin Thomas.
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