Tiger Woods playing with two other stars on comeback trail in first official PGA Tour event since Masters

Feb, 2024

LOS ANGELES — Tiger Woods’ official return to competitive golf since withdrawing from the 2023 Masters will come early Thursday in a grouping made up of three local stars.

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Woods will tee off at 12:25 p.m. (9:25 a.m. local) for the first round of the Genesis Invitational, a tournament he hosts at Riviera Country Club. Woods, from Jupiter Island, is playing with Tequesta’s Justin Thomas and Delray Beach’s Gary Woodland.

Woodland is making his fourth start since returning from surgery to remove a tumor from his brain.

Wood, 48, had ankle surgery two weeks after the Masters and did not play a competitive round of golf until early December at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.

Two weeks later, he played with his son Charlie in the PNC Championship in Orlando. The Genesis is his first official PGA Tour event since the latest setback.

While he was “able to knock a lot of the rust off” at Hero, Woods said his “hands felt better with control hitting shots” at the PNC.

Woods unveiled his new clothing line, “Sun Day Red,” on Monday. He played a nine-hole practice round on Tuesday morning wearing that apparel.

Woods’ goal this year is to play one event a month through the majors season, a schedule that, barring a setback, will include Genesis, The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, the PGA Championship at Valhalla in Louisville, Ky.; U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 and British Open at Royal Troon.

“We have set up right now the biggest events are one per month,” Woods said in December. “It sets itself up for that. Now, I need to get myself ready for all that.”

It was at this event three years ago that Woods was involved in a serious rollover car crash south of Los Angeles that severely injured his lower right leg, ankle and foot.

Tiger Woods speaks with Justin Thomas on the practice green during the first round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course on November 30, 2023, in Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas. (Photo by Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

Woodland, Thomas also on comeback trail

Woodland and Thomas also are looking for comeback seasons in 2024, but for different reasons.

Woodland returned last month at the Sony Open in Hawaii after undergoing surgery Sept. 18 This is his fourth start of the season. He is looking to make his first cut.

Thomas has turned around his game after a disappointing 2023 that saw him miss the playoffs, snapping a streak of seven consecutive appearances in the Tour Championship. He has made three starts this season with two top 10s and a 12th-place finish in last weekend’s Phoenix Open.

Tom D’Angelo is a sports columnist and reporter at The Palm Beach Post. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on social media @tomdangelo44.


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