With Tiger Woods making his long-awaited return to the PGA TOUR, we have boosted his price to make the cut from 6/4 to 2/1.
Genesis Invitational odds
After breaking both of his legs in a career- and life-threatening car accident in February 2021, the golfing world crossed their fingers in the hope they’d see the game’s greatest player just make a full recovery, never mind appear on the course again.
In a press conference months later, Woods effectively called time on his career as a full-time professional golfer, admitting that he’d never play a full schedule again. Nevertheless, golf fans were delighted at his recovery and that he still intended to play some competitive golf.
His last PGA TOUR appearance of 2020 was the Masters, moved to November due to Covid, before playing in the PNC Challenge with his son Charlie in December.
The car accident two months later would rule Woods out of the entirety of 2021, but he rallied to return at the 2022 Masters.
It’s the site of some of Woods’ greatest golfing achievements, and he insisted that he could compete around the physically challenging Augusta National.
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Woods made the cut – a huge victory in itself – before doing the same at the PGA Championship (albeit subsequently withdrawing after the third round), but finished the year on a sour note, missing the cut at St Andrews, the venue for two of his three Open wins, which he describes as his favourite golf course in the world.
Woods has made infrequent appearances since, suffering with plantar fasciitis late last year, ruling him out of the Hero World Challenge, but has deemed himself fit enough to appear at Riviera Country Club for the Genesis Invitational.
The tournament is organised by the Tiger Woods Foundation, and is the venue of Woods’ first PGA TOUR appearance as a 16-year-old amateur back in 1992.
Despite his history at the course, it’s a tournament Woods has never won, though he’s twice finished second, in 1998 – losing in a play-off to Billy Mayfair (incidentally the first and only time Woods lost in a PGA TOUR play-off) and 1999 behind Ernie Els.
Woods has also made frequent stops at Riviera in recent years, appearing in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Despite missing the cut by four shots in 2018, Woods finished T15 the following year, and made the cut again in 2020 before a disappointing weekend saw him finish 68th.
Fans will be divided between the sceptics and the optimists ahead of the Genesis Invitational. The sceptics will wonder how a 47-year-old Woods, after all of the injuries, can legitimately compete with the young guns on the PGA TOUR, but the optimists will point to his performance at The Match with Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.
Woods looked rusty having not hit a ball for two-and-a-half weeks, but the shots – and most importantly, the speed – were still there. On top of that, Woods wouldn’t enter any competition if he didn’t truly feel he could compete, and maybe we’ll be lucky enough to see just that.
But regardless of what happens this week at Riviera, it’s great to have him back.