Tiger Woods adds European Tour event in Dubai to busy 2017 schedule
He is returning in a big way with five events in the first few months of this year
It was presumed that after Tiger Woods committed to the Farmers Insurance Open and Honda Classic on Wednesday that would be all the Woods scheduling news we would get early this calendar year. That presumption was wrong. Woods also committed to the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in January. His confirmed January-February schedule now looks like this.
- January 26-29: Farmers Insurance Open (PGA Tour)
- February 2-5: Dubai Desert Classic (European Tour)
- February 16-19: Genesis Open (PGA Tour)
- February 23-26: Honda Classic (PGA Tour)
That's a hefty slate for somebody who has not played tournament golf in a year and a half.
"I've always enjoyed playing in Dubai and it's fantastic to see how the city has grown phenomenally from when I first started playing there," Woods said in a release.
He also likely is getting an appearance fee, as do many top players in European events. I'm pretty surprised Woods is playing all four of these tournaments, though all are in places he often has frequented. Plus we will know early on how the back (and knee and neck and wrist) is holding up.
The narrative undergirding all of this is that Woods clearly wants to be as prepared as possible for the Masters in April. He's all about tournament reps, and the only way to get them is to play in as many events as possible. He won't qualify for the WGC events leading up to Augusta, so you can see why he's maybe playing one more here than he would.
There are great reasons to play them all, especially for Woods. He has won at Torrey Pines (site of the Farmers Insurance Open) eight times. Dubai probably equates to a decent payday and is a monstrous field that will include Rory McIlroy. Woods' foundation is hosting the Genesis Open. And Honda is in Florida, where he doesn't have to travel.
We will get answers to our Tiger Woods questions quickly in 2017. I'm glad for that. The speculation when it comes to Woods is nauseating. It's better to have him out in front of us on the course where the only thing that matters is how many strokes it takes to get the ball in the hole.
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