Tiger Woods set to return at Quail Hollow

Tiger Woods is gearing his schedule around the remaining majors on the 2018 golfing calendar

Tiger Woods spent three months working toward one week in April.

The Masters has come and gone.

Woods took a small step back at Augusta National when he misfired with his iron play, didn't break par until the final round and tied for 32nd. He finished 16 shots back, his widest distance from the lead in 19 appearances at the Masters.

It was a big step forward for Patrick Reed, who slept three hours after winning his first major, woke up at 5 am because he couldn't sleep and responded to 155 text messages and about 180 emails.

"Every one," he said with a big smile.

This is no time to rest. Golf shifts into overdrive starting Thursday with the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow, a course that hosted the PGA Championship last summer and boasts enough star players to make it feel like the next best thing to a major.

The Players Championship is the following week. Three major championships, starting with the US Open at Shinnecock Hills, are played in a nine-week span.

"Building toward next week," Woods said. "Hopefully, I can have everything peak for this week and next week, but mainly next week. And after that, it's getting ready for Shinnecock."

Woods put a new set of irons in his bag for Quail Hollow, and in some respects, the course feels new.

He hasn't played the Wells Fargo Championship since 2012, and while he won in 2007, he has missed the cut the last two times he played. It's the only golf course where he has missed the 36-hole cut twice.

Since then, and mainly for the PGA Championship, Quail Hollow combined the opening two holes into one long par 4 and built two new holes on the front nine.

Since the last time he played, the 16th hole has been overhauled so that the green sits by the water.

"The golf course is much harder than it used to be, that's for sure," Woods said after his pro-am round Wednesday. "It's longer, but it's also more difficult."

Woods said he put his golf clubs in the closet for 10 days after the Masters, did some moderate weightlifting while staying flexible and then went back to work on his golf muscles and the speed of his swing.

"And I got them all back," he said.

Reed returned last week at the Zurich Classic, a team event he played with Patrick Cantlay, and tied for seventh.

Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler all are playing for the first time since the Masters. Justin Thomas has a chance to go to No. 1 in the world, and Quail Hollow is where he won the PGA Championship last August.

Woods is coming off a three-week break, his longest since he returned to the PGA Tour in January.