It’s Winning Time: Woods returns for Genesis Open

Following a successful comeback at the recent Farmers Insurance Open, Woods appears to be slowly returning to his confident-self if this week’s pre-tournament press conference for the Genesis Open is anything to go by.

“I’m trying to win a tournament. I’m sure they [younger players] feel the same way,” Woods said. “It’s winning time. I think now they’re starting to see me as a competitor because I’m starting to come back again.”

Tiger Woods Tiger Woods (Credit: PGA Tour)

The world number 550 will be playing at Riviera, where he kicked off his PGA Tour career as a 16-year-old, for the first time since 2006 and will tee it up in the first two rounds alongside Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas.

He has played the tournament eight times as a pro and finished runner-up in 1999 (and lost a playoff in 1998 when it was played at Valencia Country Club) but has never walked away with a trophy – a record he would love to break come Sunday afternoon.

“I love the golf course. I love the layout. It fits my eye,” Woods said.

“And I play awful. It’s very simple. It’s just one of those weird things. 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.”

Woods also spoke about changes he has made to his setup following his well-documented issues with his driver at the Farmer’s Insurance Open.

“We could all see how bad I was driving it, and I was able to clean that up a little bit,” Woods said about changing shafts to the model he used at the Wyndham in late 2015.

Woods headlines one of the strongest fields to line up at Riviera including world number one, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and European Tour star Tommy Fleetwood, who is playing in just his second PGA Tour event.

Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, Geoff Ogilvy, Aaron Baddeley, Greg Chalmers and Cameron Smith round out the Australian attack.