Tiger Woods ready to shun rivals in LA

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods finds a lot of things to love about Riviera Country Club, but his record here isn't one of them.

Woods will play with Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas for the opening rounds at Riviera Country Club Thursday and Friday, marking Woods's second start of the PGA Tour season.

Their paths to success were rather different, and Potter must have been wondering if he would ever hit these heady heights again after injury and a lack of form meant he lost his main Tour card and had to go about things the hard way: regaining it via the Web.com Tour. Though Tiger played his first tour event as a 16-year-old amateur at Riviera, it's a track on which he has never won.

It's the only tournament he has played so often and never won.

Johnson is the defending champion of this tournament, winning by five strokes.

His scheduled return in 2017 was foiled by yet more back trouble.

Tiger Woods is still trying to make a huge comeback after he underwent a spinal fusion last April.

Another player with a brace of wins at the Genesis Open is Phil Mickelson (2008 & 2009) who heads into the tournament on the back of consecutive top-5 finishes, making Lefty a tempting bet at 33/1 to finally end a tour drought which stretches back to 2013. "I am trying to get through that process to get to that point. A lot of the holes, you hit nice soft cuts and I used to love to hit nice soft cuts, and for some reason I just didn't play well".

Tiger Woods is returning to the Genesis Open for the first time since 2006 this week, at a venue that played a key role in the 14-time major champion's early career.

And as at Torrey, he was careful to temper expectations.

Woods then added, "It would be a great sign if I do play and a smart sign if I didn't play, " joking with reporters about his intentional ambiguity. "I've been away from the game a pretty long time". It also has deep Hollywood roots, from being featured in films such as Follow The Sun, The Caddy and Pat and Mike, to including a membership that is a who's-who of the biggest box office names from the past hundred years.

Woods said he'd have no qualms giving the cold shoulder to young players he has mentored once it's "winning time". He said, "That was the year before I was born".

"All three of us are excited about playing with one another in this event, and I am looking forward to the challenge of not just competing against those guys but competing against the other guys in the field". And with golf getting younger and better by the year, the biggest change might be how Woods is perceived.

"Now that my swing speed's up again, I went back to a shaft I used in 2015 when I played Wyndham", Woods said. Because in a tournament setting, things are ramped up and I could feel some of the things were off and was able to work on them.

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