Tiger Woods admits hes rusty, still eyes win at Genesis Invitational

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PALISADES, Calif. — Tiger WoodsAlthough he said he has still been having problems with his right leg and plantar fasciitis in one of his feet, he insists he wouldn’t be playing in the Genesis Invitational this week if he didn’t think he could compete or win.

Woods, 47, will make his first official PGA Tour start since he missed the cut at St. Andrews 15th Open Championship in July. Plantar fasciitis forced him to withdraw from the Hero World Challenge, which he hosted in the Bahamas in December. He said that the pain in his right heel hasnt completely subsided but is still there.

Woods said that as far as the recuperation, its more about my ankle, whether or not I can recover from every day, during Tuesdays news conference. The leg is much better than last year, but its still my ankle. Its been a delicate balance to be able to allow it to heal from day to day, while still stressing it and having the strength development.

Woods was severely injured in a car crash near Riviera Country club, two years ago. The tournament Woods hosts benefits his foundation. Woods had multiple operations on his right leg, foot, and right foot. He said that surgeons nearly had his right leg amputated.

Woods said, Its been so much better in the last couple months. Im excited for the opportunity to play and compete with these guys. I wouldnt put myself out there if it wasnt possible to beat these guys and win this event. Thats how I think. I am very rusty but I have been out of a rusty situation before, and Ive done well.

Woods would be a remarkable person if he wins or even competes at Riviera Country club. He played in only nine rounds in three major championships last season. He finished 47th in Masters, his first start since the wreck. He then withdrew 54 holes at the PGA Championship in Southern Hills because he was experiencing pain in his right leg.

Woods was 9 over after 36 holes at The Old Course in St. Andrews. He missed The Open cut.

Woods hasn’t competed at an official PGA Tour tournament in almost seven months. He did team up with Rory McIlroyTo Jordan Spieth Justin ThomasIn The Match, a 12-hole charity exhibition, Woods played with Charlie in the December PNC Championship. Woods was able use a cart at those events.

Woods stated, As you see that PNC, i was able to play out on the cart and hit shots and do what I wanted, but I just wasnt able to have the endurance in the ankle, so we started working on that. I can still hit shots, but it is the walking endurance that makes it difficult. This is something we have had to work on: walking distances on beaches, stressing it out but also being able to recover the next day. Then we can see how inflammation-wise it is and continue practicing. Although I may have done it too many times, I am still here.

Woods stated that he had always planned to compete in the Genesis Invitational before deciding if he could handle playing in another event.

The plan had been to play [in the Genesis]He replied, Yes, he said. Whether this body would listen or not was the main issue. I told some of the guys who were at the Hero and the about my experience. [PNC Championship]I could do Ranger Rick so I can hit the golf balls and do all that stuff. It all depends on whether I have the endurance to keep going. Its been a hard workout. [was]I am able to recover each day which is fantastic. Im so excited to be able compete and play at Riviera, where it all began.

Woods spent part Monday riding around North Course of Los Angeles Country Club. This is the location of the U.S. Open, which took place June 15-18. On Tuesday, he will attend a members meeting. He will be playing in an 18 home pro-am on Wednesday. His first time tee was at 9:30 am. ET.

Many players were shocked by Woods choice to play in Genesis. He will have to climb a steep hill to reach the elevated No. He will also have to climb 52 steps to reach the top of the 18th green. The course is largely flat. Woods stated that he hasnt played 18 holes for four days straight this year.

I think all of us wonder how were going up those steps on 18, Justin Rose said. This saves me from going to the gym this week. I was surprised to find out that Tiger was coming to my area. However, I was able to catch a glimpse of him. [of]The father and son [at the PNC Championship]His golf game is excellent. He was impressive at the event.

In terms the important part of hitting a golf ball, and getting a ball in a hole, all of that seemed to be in order. We know that this is not what he struggles with. Its clearly the physical side to putting together four round of golf. Its a great sign to see him out on the field and feeling ready and able to get outside.

Rose knew how to make Woods job easier.

Rose stated, I think once youre up the stairs, the rest of Riv down below the bottom is quite nice-flat. If you can manage the walk up to our clubhouse to sign our card, maybe signing for something in mid-60s will get him to the top of that hill.

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