Tiger Woods to open PGA Tour season at Torrey Pines

Stephen Dunn

Tiger Woods will return to Torrey Pines for the first time in two years when he opens up his PGA Tour season in the Farmers Insurance Open later this month.

Tiger Woods will kick off his 2013 PGA Tour season at Torrey Pines, the world’s third-ranked golfer announced on his website Wednesday.

"I'm excited to compete again," said Woods, who will tee it up next week with Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship before playing in the Farmers Insurance Open starting on January 24. "I had a good break and went to see Stanford beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Hopefully my good practice sessions will carry over.”

Organizers of the event were beside themselves to have the six-time Farmers winner back in the mix after he skipped the tourney last year.

“Without question, to have arguably the best player in the history of the sport here, it moves the needle,” Peter Ripa, tournament director, told the San Diego Union Tribune. “There’s instant relevance to your event because of him.

“When a field is looked upon, it’s not the depth of the overall field that the media looks at. It’s, ‘Who are the top guys?’ When Tiger’s in the field, it’s considered one of the strongest fields of the year,” said Ripa, who believes Woods’ could lift attendance by 30 percent.

Woods will join a field that includes Phil Mickelson, defending champ Brandt Snedeker, reigning Masters titleholder Bubba Watson, and newly minted Tournament of Champions victor Dustin Johnson.

In addition to Woods’ six regular-season wins (1999, 2003, 2005-2008) at the San Diego venue, he defeated Rocco Mediate in a playoff for the 2008 U.S. Open.

"Obviously, I've had good success at Torrey Pines,” Woods said. “I practically grew up playing the South and North Courses. The fans have always been supportive, and I look forward to returning."

The last time Woods competed at the Farmers, in 2011, he was not so successful, as he posted his worst finish ever -- a tied for 44th after posting scores of 74 and 75 on the weekend.

The only other events officially on Woods’ 2013 docket are the four majors -- the Masters in April, the U.S. Open in June, The Open Championship in July, and the PGA in August.

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