Tiger Woods already has an eye on the Masters: ‘I’m just trying to build towards April’

January 24, 2018

Tiger Woods faced the media Wednesday afternoon in Torrey Pines for his final press conference before the start of the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open.

Thursday’s round will mark Woods’s first on the PGA Tour since early 2017, and when speaking to reporters after his pro-am round Wednesday the 14-time major champion admitted to having low expectations for his latest comeback, with perhaps one exception in April.

In his prime, Woods always said his one goal for every tournament was to win. When asked if that mentality has changed he gave a unlikely response in the affirmative.

“My expectations have tampered a little bit because I haven’t played,” Woods told reporters on Wednesday. It was the first of several times the veteran Tour pro acknowledged that it would take time and many rounds on Tour before he fully returned to the win-every-tournament mentality.

“To be honest with you, I just want to start playing on the Tour and get into the rhythm of playing a schedule again … I don’t know what to expect.”

He did, however, show a flash of the old Tiger when asked about his upcoming schedule. Woods said his early season preparation is still focused on the same thing as always: the Masters.

“I’m just trying to build towards April,” he said. “…I’m looking forward to playing a full schedule and getting ready for the Masters. That’s just been my schedule and my outlook from ’96-on … to try and get ready for Augusta, and there’s no reason to change that.”

Woods’s path to Augusta begins at 1:40 p.m. ET on Thursday.