Tiger Woods, never one to reveal his hand and make his schedule official until the last minute, confirmed on Monday that he will indeed make his PGA Tour debut at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Woods will be defending in La Jolla this year, running away with the 2013 title for the first of his five wins last season. That Monday march was just the start of Tiger's return to winning in an inevitable and dominating style, and was a signal last January that he would soon reascend to the No. 1 ranking in the world.
So it came as no surprise that Woods made it official, informing the Tour that he would be on hand this season for the annual stop in the San Diego area:
Tiger Woods has officially committed to play in the @FarmersInsOpen.— Brian Wacker (@pgatour_brianw) January 6, 2014
Last year's victory marked the eighth time he won at Torrey Pines -- seven of those coming in this event and one coming on one leg at the 2008 U.S. Open. At the time, that was the most victories he had at one single layout but he matched it later in the season with victories at Bay Hill (Arnold Palmer Invitational) and Firestone (WGC-Bridgestone).
There's little left for Tiger to accomplish at these non-major events, an odd and difficult circumstance that his excellence has created. The one big goal is chasing Sam Snead's overall PGA Tour wins record of 82. Sitting at 79 official Tour wins, it's likely he gets three more this season to at least match what was once thought to be an untouchable record. Torrey Pines would be a good place to start and pick up a "W" in his 2014 stateside debut.
It's up in the air where Tiger will make his next appearance after Torrey, with some hints that he may pass on the WGC Match Play event at Dove Mountain, a setup he's not particularly fond of. That could mean his next event is the Honda Classic, played in his new(er) backyard in the Palm Beach area. After that, it will be Doral and Bay Hill for what will likely be a four event warm-up season heading into the Masters.