Tiger Woods Im now ready to play again

By Associated PressFebruary 19, 2009, 5:00 pm
Eight months after winning the U.S. Open on one good leg, a healthy Tiger Woods is returning to golf.
 
Woods said on his Web site Thursday that he will defend his title next week in the Accenture Match Play Championship, believing his reconstructed left knee and his game are good enough to win.
 
Im now ready to play again, Woods said.
 
The Match Play Championship in Tucson, Ariz., begins Wednesday.
 
Players whom Woods has beaten so often while compiling 65 victories were happy to hear he was coming back.
 
He was ready to go weeks ago, Stuart Appleby said at Riviera. I dont think he needs to do a couple of laps around the track. Hell be on that horse and hell be whipping it.
 
The timing for Woods to end his 253-day break from competition could not be better for the PGA Tour, which has seen television ratings plunge after the worlds No. 1 player had to miss the second half of the season, including two majors, the Ryder Cup and the FedEx Cup playoffs.
 
We are delighted that Tiger is returning to competition and look forward to watching him compete next week, commissioner Tim Finchem said in a statement.
 
The last shot Woods hit for real was a short par putt on the 91st hole of the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, where he defeated Rocco Mediate in a playoff to capture his 14th major, which Woods described as probably the best ever under the circumstances.
 
He had surgery after the Masters last year to repair cartilage damage in his left knee, and suffered a double stress fracture in his left leg while preparing for his return.
 
He limped badly over the final few days of the U.S. Open, later saying the swelling was so bad at night that he couldnt see his knee cap. A week after winning, he had reconstructive surgery, the third operation on his left knee in five years.
 
What to expect?
 
Hes human, swing coach Hank Haney said. He has played one tournament in 10 months. I would think he would be a little rusty, but I really dont know what to expect. Nothing with Tiger ever surprises me.
 
Woods began hitting short irons toward the end of December, and friends such as Mark OMeara and John Cook said he had been playing plenty of golf over the last few weeks at his home course in Florida.
 
The last big obstacle to his return was the birth of his son, Charlie Axel, on Feb. 8.
 
Elin and our new son Charlie are doing great, Woods wrote. Ive enjoyed my time at home with the family and appreciate everyones support and kind wishes.
 
Woods will be under even greater scrutiny when he returns at Match Play, a tournament that is unpredictable even with two good legs. The eight-month break is his longest ever, and there are questions of rust and whether he had to modify his swing after surgery.
 
Haney said the swing hasnt changed, but there might be one difference.
 
Hes working on the same stuff that hes always been working on, but hell be able to do it with a strong leg now, Haney said. It will be a little different in the finish because his knee doesnt give way.
 
Woods is a three-time winner of the Accenture Match Play Championship, but no tournament is more unpredictable. Even on two good legs, Woods once lost in the first round to unheralded Peter OMalley of Australia.
 
His return could last only one day. He could also advance to the weekend, where Woods might face as many as 36 holes a day.
 
I didnt think he would return at Match Play because the media would be all over him if he lost in the first round, Appleby said. But if Tiger lost in the first round, it would mean nothing to him. Hell be looking for competitive rounds.
 
Woods also has an endorsement contract with Accenture, and he was to be in Marana, Ariz., next week for a corporate dinner.
 
Kenny Perry believes expectations will be minimal ' Woods first tournament in eight months, and the fickle nature of match play.
 
I think its awesome, Perry said. The economy is down. We need something to boost us up. And theres going to be a gazillion reporters there, so it will be fun to be around. That place is going to come to life.
 
He also figures that Woods will do his part.
 
I think hell be ready to rock, Perry said. When he comes back, hes always raring to go. He must be spittin nails right now. I think hell be better than ever. Hell probably kick our butts like crazy. Lets face it. People play differently when theyre playing him.
 
Unless someone withdraws ' Justin Rose is one possibility because his wife is expecting their first child any day ' Woods will play Brendan Jones of Australia in the first round.
 
Woods was playing some of the best golf of his career when he had reconstructive knee surgery. He had won nine of his last 12 tournaments and did not finish worse than fifth during that stretch.
 
Woods did not walk 18 holes from the last round of the Masters until the first round of the U.S. Open, although that wont be the case this time. Match Play is moving to a new course this year ' the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain ' and he likely will have to play at least one practice round.
 
Haney is curious to see how Woods copes with the rust, but hes not worried about the knee.
 
He came out five years ago and said he had 20 percent of his ACL, and then none of it, Haney said., Now he has 100 percent of his ACL and his legs have never been strong, and somehow people want to think, Will he be OK? Theyre not following logic. The only thing he has to deal with his being away for a long time. How long it takes him, I dont know. But he is Tiger Woods.
 

 
Note: Tiger Woods' return can be seen live on Golf Channel Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET.
 

 
Related Links:
  • The Roar is Back
  • Match Play Bracket Challenge
  • Full Coverage ' WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship
  • Woods' wife gives birth to son Charlie Axel
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    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

    Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

    As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

    "That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

    Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

    Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.