Tiger Woods to skip WGC-Match Play; commits to Honda Classic, Doral, Bay Hill

Sam Greenwood

Tiger Woods has confirmed his pre-Masters schedule, and there are few surprises on the docket in the run-up to the season's first major.

Tiger Woods confirmed Thursday that he will return to competitive golf in three weeks at the Honda Classic and will also defend his WGC-Cadillac Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational titles in March.

The world No. 1, who has gotten off to the worst two-tourney start in his career, will take his place at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., in the star-studded Honda field that will include Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy. The Honda was once an event one the ropes, unable to draw the biggest names, and now it may have the most loaded field of any non-major or non-WGC event.

Woods will also, as expected, miss the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Tucson.

"The Honda Classic is close to my home, and I want to support it whenever I can," Woods said in a statement on his website. "I'm also excited about spending time with Arnold and defending my title at his tournament and the WGC-Cadillac. I'm looking forward to seeing what they've done at Doral."

Donald Trump on Thursday topped off two weeks of festivities marking the grand opening of the revamped Blue Monster golf course at Trump National Doral in Miami with a ribbon-cutting gala featuring Gary Player.

"Trump National Doral Miami will soon be, far and away, the greatest golf resort in the United States," the chair and president of The Trump Organization trumpeted, according to Forbes. Tiger and his PGA Tour buddies will have a chance to echo or disagree with The Donald’s review starting  March 6.

Woods noted that he had put aside a block of time to watch girlfriend Lindsey Vonn compete in the Olympics, though since she re-injured her surgically repaired knee and had to pull out of the 2014 games, he could have participated in the Arizona tourney.

"I had planned to take that week off and travel with Lindsey to Sochi, but unfortunately that won't happen," Woods said. "Instead, I'll stay home and prepare for the Florida tournaments."

Woods was a first-round loser in last year’s match play event, which he has won three times -- once at its current Dove Mountain venue and twice when the tilt took place at La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif.

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