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Tiger Woods announces he’ll play at the Genesis Invitational

A middle-aged PGA TOUR member has decided to play golf in Los Angeles next week at a course he knows as well as any, but where he has never won a tournament.

Tiger Woods watches his drive on the third hole during the final round of the PNC Championship golf tournament at Ritz Carlton Golf Club Grande Lakes Orlando Course. Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Tiger Woods has decided to return to the PGA TOUR next week at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club near his childhood home in Pacific Palisades, California.

The event runs from February 16-19, and the ticket sales folks must be happy the oft-injured GOAT is feeling well enough to tee ‘em up near his childhood home in SoCal. He’s also the de facto host of this event, so having him on the course for what will be the first go-round as an “elevated event” on the PGA TOUR with a guaranteed $20 million prize pool should make next weekend a can’t miss watch for golf fans.

The last time we saw Woods in a competitive event was the PNC Championship in December in Orlando with his son Charlie. Golf carts are allowed in that event, and walking the course for 18 holes has been what’s hindered Woods as of late. While his swing still seems as sharp as ever, even if he’s lost a a few yards of length to the field at age 47, it’s how much the pressure of walking hinders him as rounds continue that’s the problem.

Tiger played in his first PGA TOUR event at Riviera in 1992 in what was then the Nissan Los Angeles Open as 16-year-old high school sophomore. But amazingly, for what was the PGA-quality course closest to his house as a kid, Woods has never won an event at Riviera. The closest he came was within two shots of Ernie Els in the 1999 tour stop.

As the winner of, well, basically everything else in golf, Woods has a lifetime exemption on the TOUR and can play literally any event he chooses whenever he wants outside of the PGA Championship and the US Open. And he’s still exempt for both of those for quite awhile longer.