‘Golf Emperor’ Tiger Woods (USA) returns to the US Professional Golf (PGA) Tour after 7 months.
Woods was named on the list of players for the PGA Tour Genesis Invitational (total prize money of $20 million) to be held at the Riviera Country Club (par 71) in Palisades, near Los Angeles, California for four days starting on the 17th (Korean time).
After missing the cut in the Open in July last year, Woods did not participate in a regular PGA Tour tournament for nearly seven months, saying that he needed more rehabilitation and training. He made an appearance at the event competition, the PNC Championship, last December, but it was a two-day event and he competed while riding a cart. His performance didn’t stand out too much.
This time, as it is a regular tour tournament where all four rounds must be played, it is an opportunity to observe how much Woods’ physical strength and performance have recovered.
Experts excluded Woods as a candidate for the championship. Gamblers also predicted that Woods’ chances of winning were very low. Although his stamina and performance are recovering, it is analyzed that it is too early to compete with young players for the championship.
However, Woods’ participation alone heated up the competition. His fellow players were unanimous, and the Genesis Invitational Organizing Committee expects Cloud Gallery to flock to it.
Woods’ long-standing relationship with the Riviera Country Club also became a hot topic again. Nicknamed “Augusta of the West,” Riviera Country Club is where Woods first stepped on the PGA Tour as a high school student.
Woods participated as an invited player at the PGA Tour LA Open held here in 1992 when he was 16 years old, and went out as an invited amateur player the following year. Woods, who was born and raised an hour away from Riviera Country Club, is all too familiar with Southern California golf courses, but has never won 14 PGA Tour events at Riviera Country Club. This is the only course on which Woods has not won more than 10 times.
Woods has a terrible relationship with the Riviera Country Club, but since 2018 he has hosted the tournament and raised it to a special event. From 2020 until last year, he fulfilled his role as a host by following the course all week even though he could not compete due to injury. This year, he plays two roles as host and player. 안전놀이터
Another point to watch is the second showdown between World No. 1 Scotty Scheffler (USA), No. 2 Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland), and No. 3 John Rahm (Spain), who have built a strong ‘troika’ system this year.
Schaeffler, who recaptured the world rankings by winning the WM Phoenix Open last week, is aiming for a second consecutive win. At the WM Phoenix Open, the first PGA Tour event he participated in this year, McIlroy, who ended up with an unexpected result of a tie for 32nd place, seeks revenge. Ram, who won 2 wins this year and was on a terrifying uptrend, is aiming for 3 wins.
2022 champions Max Homa, Xander Chopley, Colin Morikawa, Patrick Cantley, and Justin Thomas (above the United States) are also considered candidates for the championship.
Lim Seong-jae (25) is also evaluated as a player with a high chance of winning. CBS placed Lim Seong-jae in 9th place in the winning probability. Sports Edge also predicted Lim Seong-jae to be ninth in terms of winning chances, higher than Morikawa, Will Jaratoris, Cameron Young (above USA), and Victor Hovlan (Norway).
In addition, Lee Gyeong-hoon (32) Kim Si-woo (28) Kim Seong-hyeon (25) Kim Joo-hyung (21) will also participate. There are a total of six Korean players, including Kim Young-soo (34), who was invited.