PALM HARBOR, Fla. – After coming up one shot short in his tournament debut at the Valspar Championship, Tiger Woods quickly turned his attention to an event with which he is quite familiar.
Woods plans to take only one day off from touching a club following his T-2 finish at Innisbrook Resort, as he’ll make the short trip across Interstate-4 to Orlando for next week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. Woods has won the event eight times before, including four in a row from 2000-2003. But he hasn’t played Bay Hill since winning in 2013, a victory that at the time took him back to No. 1 in the world rankings.
It will also mark Woods’ first return to his former hometown event since the passing of the tournament’s namesake in September 2016.
“I’m really looking forward to next week. I hadn’t played there in a couple years because of my back, and I wanted to play there a couple years ago,” Woods said. “We knew Arnold was not in very good shape. I wanted to play one last time before he moved on, and unfortunately I just couldn’t play. So, nice to get back to Orlando. My kids were born there; I’ve had a lot of success.”
Woods will now embark on his second back-to-back stretch of the young season, having followed a missed cut at the Genesis Open with a 12th-place finish at the Honda Classic. Woods’ runner-up at Innisbrook was his best result at a PGA Tour event since August 2013, and he’ll now look to build upon that momentum on a course where he has lifted the trophy four of the last five times he has played the tournament, dating back to 2008.
“I’m very excited. It’s a golf course I like,” Woods said. “I’ve played well there throughout the years, and just haven’t been back in a couple years. Nice to get back.”