Tiger Woods traveled to Riviera Country Club on Monday for media day well ahead of the Genesis Open. The Tiger Woods Foundation is playing host to the tournament for the first time in mid-February. This will be the first time Woods will play the event (formerly the Northern Trust Open, Nissan Open and Los Angeles Open) since 2006.
Woods spoke on a variety of topics, but most notably, he discussed the 2017 Masters. Let's start there as we hit on the highlights from Woods' 30-minute media session.
Woods interrupted a reporter when he was asked about the 2017 Masters. The reporter wondered when he starts thinking about August ... "Now. Now. I've been thinking about it," he said. This year's event, should Woods play, will be just his second since 2013 (he missed 2014 and 2016).
Woods is ready to get back to the PGA Tour after a 17-month absence. "I'm excited about playing this week. Feel like I'm playing well, just need some tournament rounds under my belt. I need some tournament golf, and I'm really looking forward to it. I've had a really nice time preparing for this event."
He has been playing four or five times a week since the Hero World Challenge. This seems like ... not that many for somebody like Woods who will play four tournaments in the next five weeks. "[The schedule] is a concern, no doubt about it, but I'm also looking forward to it," said Woods. "I've sat out long enough. If my back feels good, I know I can...shoot scores."
That's a big if.
Tiger has a passionate reason for returning to play Riviera. "I always loved playing Riv," said Woods. "I just never played it well. This is a very special place, and I'm excited to come back to it." Also ... his foundation is hosting it.
Woods said he's never felt a club as heavy as the first time he took it back at Riviera. In 1992 as a 16-year-old amateur, Woods piped his first drive, but he also went on to miss the cut after shooting 72-75.
Tiger's bag has not changed except for his TaylorMade 3-wood. He took that club out. He used it at the Hero World Challenge in December but did not say with which club he replaced it. Speaking of equipment, Woods talked once again about the club he won't let his children touch.
Tiger on the trusty flat stick: "Scotty has built me over 100 putters trying to replicate this one...but this one just stands out."— GC Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) January 23, 2017
Woods looked back at his myriad injuries. He said it's sort of a wonder that he's even playing again at all, much less with the heavy schedule he's taking on. "I've gone through some pretty tough lows...there are points in time when I didn't know if I could swing a club again."