Now that Tiger Woods has completed his first tournament after returning from a 10-month absence and fourth back surgery, it’s time to start looking at Woods’ playing schedule for the first part of 2018.
Woods hasn’t revealed what tournaments he plans to play next despite being asked multiple times this week in the Bahamas, where Woods finished T-9 at the Hero World Challenge.
“I think that we’re going to sit down here (and) we’re going to figure out what’s the best way for me to build my schedule for the major championships: play how much, what my training cycles are going to be and play enough but don’t play too much,” Woods said on NBC. “I don’t know what golf courses I’ll be playing and what’s the best way to go about it. We’ll sit down with the whole team and we’ll figure it out.”
Considering the courses that Woods has felt comfortable on in the past and the fact that Woods doesn’t want to commit to a heavy workload early on, here is a potential look at Woods’ upcoming schedule leading up to the Masters:
Farmers Insurance Open
Jan. 25-28 at Torrey Pines GC, La Jolla, Calif.
We can’t see Woods teeing it up at the Sony Open or CareerBuilder Challenge, so the most logical next event for him is the Farmers. Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, including once at the 2008 U.S. Open. Woods also teed it up here last year, though he missed the cut. The only way he doesn’t play here is if he decides to return to play the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, which is the same week.
Feb. 15-18, Riviera CC, Los Angeles
Feb. 22-25, PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
We think Woods will play twice in the next four weeks following Farmers. He has played Phoenix recently, but it’s hard to see him playing four times in five weeks. He hasn’t played Pebble since 2012, though don’t be surprised to see him add that as well if he feels like his body can handle three events in four weeks. That leaves a two-week break before playing the Genesis, which his foundation now hosts and where Woods hasn’t played since 2006, and Honda, which is an event Woods likes and is a home game.
Arnold Palmer Invitational
March 15-18, Bay Hill, Orlando, Fla.
Assuming Woods isn’t eligible to play the WGC event in Mexico, it looks like he’ll take another two-week break (also skipping Valspar) and tee it up at Arnie’s event, which he’s won eight times. Then it looks like another two-week break before the Masters, unless Woods qualifies for the WGC Match Play.