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tiger woods

‘It’s the best I’ve played’: Tiger Woods talks up form at Genesis Invitational

Tiger Woods excited the crowds at Riviera Country Club so much so that he could now add another PGA Tour appearance between now and the Masters

 

Tiger Woods believes his performance in the third round of the 2023 Genesis Invitational is the best golf he has played since his car accident in February 2021.

As a reporter pointed out to Woods after he carded a 67, this was his 12th round since sensationally returning to the Masters last year after an incredible recovery from the serious leg injuries he’d sustained.

The 15-time major champion thrilled the crowds at Riviera Country Club who followed him in their droves once again as he made three birdies and an eagle.

Since his return to the PGA Tour, Woods has endured some tough moments such as missing the cut at the 150th Open Championship and withdrawing from the PGA Championship after three rounds.

But with his trusty fade off the tee and his solid putting, the 47-year-old has found a level of comfort in his game that’s allowed him to climb the leaderboard.

He is unlikely to notch an 83rd win on Tour as he is cut too far adrift from the leader Jon Rahm. The Spaniard will look to fend off the likes of Max Homa and Patrick Cantlay to win for the third time this season.

“It is, it’s the best I’ve played. I was saying earlier over here, I’ve been pretty one-dimensional on how to hit my tee shots,” he said. “I’ve kind of gone to my little – my stock shot because I just haven’t played enough where I feel like I can hit different shots.

tiger woods

“I had gone to a shot I know I can hit and I can hit it all different trajectories, which is kind of what I do.

“The way the golf course is playing, as fast as it is, a flat cut can go a very long way here, so I’ve been able to hit that shot.

“Then with the firm greens, I thoroughly enjoy that for my iron game, and finally made some putts.”

Woods admitted that he has “aches and pains and swelling” in his right foot which was damaged in the car crash and ahead of the third designated event of the season, he said his ankle has now become the main problem as opposed to his leg.

His ability to complete 54 holes without a gradual loss of steam is in contrast to the 2022 Masters when he seemed physically fatigued by the end of the tournament.

Woods has always reasserted that rest and recovery are vital after each competitive round he plays, and this will be more true than ever when he completes 72 holes for the first time since Augusta 10 months ago.

He didn’t rule out adding another tournament to the schedule before heading to Georgia in April, which brings participation at the Players Championship or the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill into contention.

His withdrawal from the Hero World Challenge in December with plantar fasciitis was a reminder of how his injuries can still be easily aggravated, but perhaps a good finish in LA could kickstart a string of PGA Tour appearances.

Ahead of playing with Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas in the first round, Woods visited Los Angeles Country Club on a scouting mission ahead of this year’s US Open.

“I don’t know about that. Right now I’ve got to recover for tomorrow. I’m a little bit on the sore side, so let’s just recover, figure out tomorrow and hopefully shoot a low one,” Woods added.

“Hopefully tomorrow go out and play a good one, post this event, we’ll go ahead and reassess everything and see where we are, see how I recover from a full tournament. I haven’t done this in a while.”

Will Tiger Woods play again between now and the Masters? Tweet me and let me know!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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