Tiger Woods set to return at Safeway Open in California
Two weeks after the PGA Tour season ended, the next one starts Thursday and for some fans it can’t get here soon enough: Tiger Woods is returning to golf.
Woods made it official on Friday by entering the Safeway Open in Napa, California, the first event on the PGA Tour’s wraparound schedule. He has said a month ago that he hoped to play the Safeway Open at Silverado Resort, but had until Friday afternoon to officially commit.
Woods last played on 23 August, 2015, at the Wyndham Championship in a last-minute bid to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs. A month later, he announced a second surgery on his back, and then a third one a month after that.
Even through other operations on his knee, the 40-yearold Woods has never spent this long away from competition. And never has the No. 767 player in the world attracted so much attention.
“Silverado is the perfect course for him because it is so straightforward,” tournament host Johnny Miller said last month when Woods indicated he hoped to play. “I think he’ll love being back in California. If he can get a good first round ... just get some confidence and springboard from there.”
Woods plans to play the Turkish Airlines Open next month and then his Hero World Challenge the first week in December, giving him three tournaments in roughly three months to end the year.
Woods said last month his rehabilitation was to the point where he was comfortable making scheduling plans.
He was at the Ryder Cup as an assistant captain, mostly walking as he spent time with Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed. Woods this week was named an assistant to Presidents Cup Captain Steve Stricker, though Stricker said he would like to see Woods playing on the team.
Woods hasn’t won since the 2013 Bridgestone Invitational, the 79th title of his PGA Tour career. That left him three short of the record held by Sam Snead.