After a short-lived comeback in the Arizona desert last week — and plenty of guessing among golf scribes, tournament directors and fans as to when he might return — Tiger Woods will make his second start of the 2009 season at the WGC-CA Championship at Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami, starting Thursday. Woods made the announcement Friday on his Web site, which for most of the week kept the public guessing as to when he would return. Under the headline "Next Event Scheduled" were the letters "TBA" until about 2 p.m. EST, when the letters "WGC-CA" filled the void. The deadline to enter was 5 p.m. EST.
Woods, who won three straight titles at Doral from 2005-07 until Geoff Ogilvy broke the streak last year, will be making his first start in a stroke-play event since winning the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines last June.
Woods then missed the next eight months while recovering from ACL surgery on his left knee and returned to the PGA Tour at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship last week, where he defeated Australia’s Brendan Jones in the first round before falling to South Africa’s Tim Clark in the second.
With today’s announcement, Woods’s upcoming schedule is almost certain to include the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which begins March 26 near Woods’s home in Orlando, and the Masters, starting April 9.
During Woods’s absence, conventional wisdom pointed to Doral as the site for his comeback, namely due to location (a short trip from home), his comfort on the course (extremely high) and its format (stroke play, limited field, no cut).
But Woods opted for the unpredictable format of match play (Woods also has a long business relationship with Accenture and his learning center receives technology support from the company).
Woods’s two-day spin around the Tucson desert offered some old flashes (a holed bunker shot, booming drives) but also a few scattered shots along a course neither he nor the rest of the field knew well.
Woods won’t have any course knowledge deficiencies at Doral. (Photo: Robert Beck/SI) Tiger Tracker | Tiger’s New Swing | Tiger’s New Baby | Tiger’s Sports Illustrated Covers