Tiger Woods will likely make his 2015 debut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open later this month, according to a report by Golf.com, which cited two anonymous sources.
Woods hasn’t played the Phoenix Open since 2001. The event begins Jan. 29.
When contacted by GolfChannel.com, agent Mark Steinberg said in an email, “Nothing committed yet. We will advise on the schedule when we do have a commitment.”
The deadline for Woods to commit to the event is Jan. 23 – the Friday before the tournament begins
Last year’s event drew more than 560,000 spectators, and that figure would likely spike if Woods were to make his fourth career start in the desert.
Though Woods has never won in Phoenix – he has a pair of top-5s – his previous appearances there have been rather memorable. He recorded an ace on the boisterous 16th hole in 1997. Two years later, Woods enlisted the help of the gallery to move a boulder in front of his ball. And in 2001, a fan threw an orange on the green while Woods was putting. The former world No. 1 hasn’t played there since.
Woods has reportedly reserved a courtesy car and accommodations in the Phoenix area, and his appearance would create an even more frenetic atmosphere at this year’s tournament. The Super Bowl is being played in Glendale, about 30 miles away from TPC Scottsdale.
An eight-time winner at Torrey Pines, Woods hasn’t played back-to-back regular-season events on the West Coast since 2004.
After missing the cut last August at the PGA, Woods shut it down for nearly four months to rest his ailing back. In his return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Woods tied for last in the 18-man field.