Zach Johnson might not be the president of the Tiger Woods Fan Club, but he’s rooting for his friend and fellow Tour player as much as anybody.
“I’m his biggest fan,” Johnson told The Man Out Front Friday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. “Well, I’m not his biggest fan – I guarantee you there are probably more fans who are more rabid than I am – but I am in that majority of fans where I want him to play well. More than that, I want him to play, be happy and be healthy.”
Woods, 42, will return to action next week at the Farmers Insurance Open, his first PGA Tour start since last year’s missed cut at Torrey Pines. Woods, who had his fourth back surgery – a spinal fusion – last April, has played just one PGA Tour event since the 2015 Wyndham Championship. He did play the Hero World Challenge last month in the Bahamas, where he tied for ninth.
Johnson, 41, said if Woods isn’t injured, his presence back on Tour would be huge for ratings.
“If we have a Tiger Woods healthy, much like Phil, the barometer is going to hit that degree that we haven’t seen in a while, especially with the talent of those mid-twentysomethings,” Johnson said. “You take what we have right now, which our product is very good, and you throw in the best player of my generation – arguably if not the best athlete of my generation – that’s a pretty good equation.”