LOS ANGELES – Tiger Woods’ busiest stretch in three and a half years begins this week at Torrey Pines.
And not even Woods knows what to expect.
“My body is in a pretty good state where I feel like I can handle that workload,” he said Monday at media day for the Genesis Open, which his foundation now hosts, “but I’ve still got to go out there and do it.”
The reason for his uneasiness: After a pair of back surgeries, Woods has played only one tournament in the past 17 months. That was seven weeks ago, at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished 15th out of 17 players. Since then, Woods said he has played four or five times a week at home in anticipation of this opening stretch
On his schedule are four starts in the next five weeks – the most he’s played since the fall of 2013 – beginning this week at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, where he has won eight times as a pro. After that, it’s a trip 12 time zones away to Dubai, then a week off, followed by back-to-back tournaments at Riviera and PGA National.
Which begs the question: Is it too much golf, especially with the international and cross-country travel?
“That is a concern, no doubt about it,” he said, “but I’m also looking forward to it. I’ve sat out long enough.”
A few other Tiger-related notes:
• Woods said that his equipment remains largely unchanged, with one small tweak: He replaced the TaylorMade 3-wood, but did not disclose which make or model he will use. He plays in the pro-am Wednesday at Torrey Pines.
• Ranked 663rd in the world, Woods could rise as high as 90th with a victory at Torrey Pines.
• Woods played with President Donald Trump last month in South Florida. He was asked whether Trump, a 2.8 handicap, would be able to break 80 at Riviera. “Uh,” he said with a smile, “he’s gotta hole a few putts. In today’s conditions? No. It’s a little wet out there.”