Tiger Woods is set to make his comeback to golf, announcing on social media he will be entering the upcoming PGA Tour event in Los Angeles. Woods, 47, last played professionally at the British Open in July last year.
The news was welcomed by fans of the golfing great who had hoped his career would not yet be over, despite brutal injuries suffered when he rolled his car in 2021. Woods made a memorable comeback at the Masters last year, finishing 47th.
Hopes of a full-time return to the sport were dashed soon after, with Woods struggling to get through his rounds at the 2022 British Open. He had hoped to return to the PGA at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas last December, but was foiled after developing plantar fasciitis in his foot.
“I’m ready to play an ACTUAL PGA Tour event next week @thegenesisinv,” Woods tweeted on Saturday morning. Woods has played in three events since his 2021 crash, all of them majors.
I'm ready to play an ACTUAL PGA Tour event next week @thegenesisinv
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) February 10, 2023
He finished 47th at the Masters in 2022. He made the cut at the ensuing PGA Championship but withdrew after a nine-over Saturday round left him a 12-over for the tournament.
He was visibly in pain throughout the tournament while walking on his surgically repaired right leg. Woods then missed the cut in July during an emotional British Open appearance that was likely his last at St. Andrews. He didn't play at the U.S. Open in June.
Woods suffered multiple injuries during the single-car rollover crash on Feb. 23, 2021, that required emergency surgery to save his life. He sustained compound fractures to both bones in his lower right leg. He has since undergone an arduous rehab that has allowed him to walk and occasionally play golf.
Playing @thegenesisinv is something @TigerWoods was targeting late last year. His plantar fasciitis has healed enough to walk 72 holes and he continues to feel strength in right leg. Outside of the walk down 1 from clubhouse and up 18 to clubhouse Riviera is not a severe walk.
— Todd Lewis (@ToddLewisGC) February 10, 2023
I know he can't, and wouldn't ever, use a cart but I will personally volunteer to give Tiger Woods a piggyback ride for the entirety of the Genesis Invitational if it means his leg wouldn't get hurt.
— Timothy Simons (@timothycsimons) February 10, 2023
10 minutes after seeing the Tiger Woods, news my wife reminded me I’m going to be at the Genesis next week.
I’ve never need more gleefully surprised by something I had momentarily forgotten about in my whole life.
— Ryan Barath 🏌️♂️ (@RDSBarath) February 10, 2023
Tiger Woods' career record at the Genesis Invitational:
That's 14 starts, 11 made cuts, four top-10s and two runners-up, but it remains the tournament he's played the most without a win.
— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelTAN) February 10, 2023
LETS RIDE TIGER WOODS IS BACK AT THE GENESIS. https://t.co/5G3djmxeLx
— TJ Eckert (@TJEckertKTUL) February 10, 2023
The 47-year-old last won at the 2019 Zozo Championship, his 82nd PGA Tour victory, tying him with Sam Snead for the most all time. He won the Masters that same year to complete a remarkable career comeback with his first major victory since 2008.
The win secured his fifth green jacket and 15th major victory, the second-most all time behind Jack Nicklaus' 18.
Tiger Woods set for comeback amid major LIV revelation
Woods has also been a major figure in the PGA Tour's stand against the breakaway LIV Golf series, with the sporting legend a vocal critic of the new competition. LIV Golf admitted in a court motion Monday that it had generated “virtually no revenue” in its inaugural season, according to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach. The filing was part of its ongoing lawsuit against the PGA Tour.
While that’s not too surprising considering LIV Golf is extremely new, it’s not great considering how much Saudi Arabia has already invested. The country’s Public Investment Fund spent about $784 million on the league in 2022, former president and CEO Atul Khosla told ESPN last year.
That didn’t include the reported $100 million-plus signing bonuses to land top players like Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau, among others. LIV Golf is expanding its schedule in 2023, starting with its season opener in Mexico later this month. It also finally landed a television deal in the United States, with the CW Network, too.
Yet spending around $1 billion and not getting anything back — even knowing how deep-pocketed the PIF is — can’t feel good.
The PGA Tour has filed a motion to add both the PIF and its governor as plaintiffs to its counterlawsuit against LIV Golf. The Tour will also meet with Judge Beth Labson Freeman later this month to discuss pushing back the Jan. 2024 trial date.
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