Friday, March 1, 2024

Tiger Woods returns to Riv; here’s all that’s unfolded this past year

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Tiger Woods is set to make his return to Riviera Country Club this week.

Woods, who also serves as tournament host of the Genesis Invitational, hasn’t teed it up in an official PGA Tour event since he withdrew from last April’s Masters after 43 holes.

Here’s what Woods has been up to since we last saw him play this Los Angeles gem:

April 2023 – After opening the Masters with rounds of 74-73, Woods makes the cut on the number. However, because of weather delays, Woods only was able to complete seven holes of his third round on Saturday. With 29 holes on tap for Sunday, Woods withdrew with what he described as a reaggravation of his plantar fasciitis. Woods was shown Saturday evening limping and wincing. Ten days later, Woods announced that he had a subtalar fusion surgery on his right ankle. He wouldn’t play another official Tour event the rest of the year.

July 2023 – Part of hundreds of pages of documents publicized from an antitrust lawsuit brought against the PGA Tour by attorney Larry Klayman, a talking points sheet had been made for Woods for a town hall meeting at the Travelers Championship. Among the suggestions were Woods commending PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan (“He’s the right guy for this war. He’s a fighter.”) and telling players to, “Do what I did: Tell the Saudis to go f— themselves.” There was just one big problem: Woods never attended the meeting, and he never was aware of this document. “In response to the talking points memo released this weekend, I have never seen this document until today, and I did not attend the players meeting for which it was prepared at the 2022 Travelers,” Woods said.

August 2023 – Woods is announced as a sixth player director on the PGA Tour’s policy board. “This is a critical point for the Tour, and the players will do their best to make certain that any changes that are made in Tour operations are in the best interest of all Tour stakeholders, including fans, sponsors and players,” Woods said.

October 2023 – Woods is recorded hitting wedge shots at Pebble Beach’s short course, The Hay, which was re-designed by Woods. It’s the first footage of Woods hitting a golf shot since his surgery.

November 2023 – The PGA Tour holds the World Wide Technology Championship at the Woods-designed El Cardonal Golf Course at Diamante Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Erik van Rooyen won the event at 27 under. Woods also is announced as owner of a TGL franchise, Jupiter Links Golf Club, though 13 days later it’s revealed that the tech league will be delayed until at least 2025.

December 2023 – Woods returns to competition at Hero World Challenge and finishes 18th out of 20 competitors. Afterward, Woods seems pleased with how his body held up. “I haven’t done it with my ankle the way it is now, and I was excited each and every day to kind of get through it and kind of start piecing rounds together again,” Woods said. “I haven’t done this in a long time, so it was fun to feel that again.” He then tees it up two weeks later at the PNC Championship and ties for fifth with son, Charlie.

January 2024 – Woods announces that he’s ended his 27-year partnership with Nike, a relationship that began when Woods turned pro in 1996. “The days since have been filled with so many amazing moments and memories, if I started naming them, I could go on forever,” Woods said.

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