Last year, Woods won his third consecutive Buick Open -- and seventh PGA TOUR start in a row -- with a 66 in the final round to beat Charles Howell III by two shots.
Woods hasn't played an official event since winning the TOUR Championship by eight shots in September, a victory that clinched the world No. 1 the first-ever FedExCup and its $10 million top prize.
He took the longest break of his career -- more than three months -- before returning to beat an elite field at his Target World Challenge in December.
Woods is 5-1 in his last six starts overall -- official and non-official -- since a stretch of five non-wins beginning with last year's PLAYERS Championship and ending at the British Open.
This is the first of two events to be staged at Torrey Pines this season. The San Diego-area course will be the second publicly-owned course to host the U.S. Open in June, when it will become the longest course in U.S. Open history.
Also returning this week will be Phil Mickelson, who has won three Buick Invitationals in his career: the first in 1993, then back-to-back in 2000-01.
This is the first event of the season that the GOLF CHANNEL will not cover exclusively. CBS will have the final two rounds.
Next week is the FBR Open, which was won by Aaron Baddeley last year.