It’s been an eventful year in golf already, and now the PGA Tour’s biggest star is set to make his 2023 debut.
Tiger Woods announced on Friday that he will return to competition next week at the Genesis Invitational, an event his foundation hosts. Woods was last seen in action playing alongside his son, Charlie, at the PNC Championship in December. Earlier that month, he also participated in The Match, partnering with Rory McIlroy to lose a 12-hole match to Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth.
Woods’ last official PGA Tour event was a missed cut at the Open Championship, where he had an emotional—and possibly final—sendoff at St. Andrews. Woods broke the news with a tweet that indicated it’s been a long time since he played in an official PGA Tour event.
In fact, Woods’ last official PGA Tour start at a non-major event came all the way back in October 2020 at the Zozo Championship. He made the cut at both the Masters and PGA Championship last year before withdrawing ahead of the U.S. Open and missing the cut at the British Open. Those are the only three official starts he’s made since suffering severe leg injuries in a car crash two years ago following the 2021 Genesis Invitational.
The PGA Tour’s annual stop at Riviera has always been one of the biggest events on the schedule, but that stature has only increased in recent years with Woods hosting. And now the Genesis Invitational is one of the tour’s 13 designated events that feature a $20 million purse.
The increased prize money as well as a new policy that top players can only skip one designated event if they want to be eligible to win Player Impact Program bonus money at the end of the year guarantees an elite field. PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan was asked last month if that rule affects Woods, who has claimed the top PIP bonus in its first two years of existence despite rarely playing.
“Tiger isn’t going to get a decrease,” Monahan told reporters at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. “I think it’s hard for me to say what’s going to happen until it actually happens, OK? But I don’t see that happening.”
With his latest return, Woods will continue his quest to break the PGA Tour career wins record. He’s been tied with Sam Snead at 82 victories since his last win at the 2019 Zozo Championship. However, the 47-year-old is 0-for-11 as a pro at Riviera, the site he’s played the most without winning on tour.