On the par-4 12th hole, Woods said he used to hit 1-iron off the tee and a pitching wedge into the green, but since the hole has been significantly lengthened, he will have to hit driver and then a 6- or 7-iron into the green. "So the old yardage books are out the window".
Nevertheless, there was an echo of the fiery competitor who once seemed certain to eclipse Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 major titles when Woods talked about contending with today's rising stars. The greens have gotten more pin locations than I remember.
"I didn't know if I would ever get back to this point and all the well wishes along the way have really blown my mind".
During his Tuesday press conference, Woods was peppered with questions about his back and what he wants to accomplish as he gets back in the swing of competing in tournaments.
"I listened", Thomas said. Following last week's T-8 result at Pebble Beach, he now returns to the comfort of Riviera, where he reached a playoff three years ago.
Justin Thomas hasn't produced his best stuff consistently this season despite flashes of brilliance and course form of 39-54-41 suggests there will be better opportunities down the line to play him. However, he played this event two years ago and opened 67-69-67 before slumping to a closing 70 to finish T20.
Asked what will go into his decision to play Honda (which he has until the end of Friday to commit to), Woods said, "Not to feel sore, to feel like I can play all-out again with just three days off, to go full bore again the week after playing". "For a while there that wasn't the case. I could feel some of the things were off and was able to work on them". They would pick my brain, but now it's more as a playing competitor.
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McIlroy, meanwhile, is looking to bounce back from a disappointing finish in his first PGA Tour start of the year last week when he missed the cut at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. After his rookie season when he finished 59, he has had only two missed cuts at Riviera.
Woods doesn't have an answer for his struggles at Riviera. "It's very simple. It's just one of those weird things". The Genesis Open has been around for more than 70 years, witnessing several name changes from the Los Angeles Open to the Northern Trust Open, and its longevity has been secured thanks to it being parked at this sublime golf course. He said, "That was the year before I was born". "That's up to our captain", Woods said, as quoted by the Telegraph. A lot of that is me because I got hurt and didn't play. For instance, more than one tour player's golf ball has been completely swallowed by the giant trees on the long par-5 11th.
"I felt like it was a place that really suited my game", he added. While Berger doesn't have a top-10 yet this season, he is likely to be a lower-owned option in tournaments, which will help to diversify the Dustin Johnson exposure I plan on having.
Woods cautions that this is only his third event since he's returned from back surgery.
"It'd be a great sign if I do play", Woods told reporters at Riviera, "And I think it'd be a smart sign if I don't play".