With the Masters quickly approaching, Tiger will be on tour for three consecutive weeks.
The spring schedule has taken shape for Tiger Woods, who announced on Tuesday that he will tee it up at the WGC-Accenture Match Play, Honda Classic, and the Cadillac Championship at Doral. After his win at Torrey Pines, I wrote that we'd likely see Tiger next at the Match Play event in Arizona (which Phil is skipping again), but his status for the Honda Classic was TBD. The event at PGA National has not always been a part of his schedule, even though he played there last year. Woods had also played at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am last year, and as he was cruising to victory in La Jolla it was announced that he wouldn't be returning to that event in 2013.
The announcement came through the channel it always does, his own website. TigerWoods.com issued the release, which means Woods will be in attendance on Tour for three straight weeks as he hones his Sean Foley swing for The Masters:
"I'm excited to be playing in the Honda Classic again," said Woods. "It's a really good tournament, and it does a lot for the community. I like the golf course, and I came pretty close last year. It's part of a busy stretch for me, and I want to continue playing well."
Woods said last year he wanted to play the Honda because it was a "local" event near his new home in South Florida. But that doesn't mean he won't return to the area of his old home in Orlando for Bay Hill, which was not a part of the latest release. Bay Hill is two weeks after Doral this season, and will likely be his final event before Augusta.
The three-week stretch is certainly a boon for PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, the TV stations, and golf fans. Last year, there was immense external pressure on Woods to play more events, get more "reps" with the Foley redesigned swing that had yet to pickup a victory. That drought ended at the API at Bay Hill, one of Tiger's favorite courses in his career. With a three-win season under his belt, and a win in his debut this year, Woods is obviously a little more comfortable with his swing and will likely continue to play just the typical mainstays and courses he's become familiar with over his 75-win career.
The three events added to the schedule this week aren't exactly unfamiliar territory. Woods is a regular at the Match Play, which he's won three times. He's said throughout his career that he's fond of match play, and it was certainly a format he dominated as an amateur. The Honda Classic last season was the first time we saw the Tiger-Rory dynamic in full, as Woods made a major Sunday charge (firing 62) that McIlroy steadily held off coming in against the roars ahead. Doral is another WGC event that Tiger has won multiple times, winning six trophies there in his career.
With the way he played at Torrey Pines, and his history at these events, it's likely to be a big month on tour for Tiger. The stretch will usher in the golf season in earnest, as many casual fans tune in to follow Tiger with The Masters coming up on the horizon.