Tiger Woods to make first start of 2024 at Riviera for Genesis Invitational
Getty Images/Ross Kinnaird
The GOAT is back … And perhaps sporting a new logo to boot?
On Wednesday morning, Tiger Woods announced his latest return to professional golf will come at next week’s Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, marking his first start of the 2024 season. Riviera was a long-rumored return destination for Woods to start the 2024 season, where he annually serves as the tournament’s host and where his charity is one of the tournament’s prime beneficiaries.
Woods’ latest return to the PGA Tour comes just two months after his official return to competitive golf at the Hero World Challenge, and 10 months after the latest in a string of surgeries to repair his right ankle, which was injured in the now-infamous one-car wreck in Los Angeles following this very tournament in 2021. Three years later, the 15-time major champion is hopeful that the latest surgery — a “subtalar fusion” he underwent after pain forced him to withdraw from the Masters in April — has worked enough to get him back to regular playing shape.
Woods has said in the past he hopes to return to playing roughly one tournament per month, and after sitting out January’s pair of Signature Events (the Sentry and AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am), an optimistic outcome could see him playing every month between Valentines Day (Genesis) and Labor Day (the Tour Championship).
“I think that best scenario would be maybe a tournament a month,” he said at the Hero in November. “I think that’s realistic. You would have to start with maybe at Genesis and something in March near the Players. Again, we have [the schedule] set up right now so the biggest events are one per month. It sets itself up for that.”
Riviera has always been a beloved spot for Tiger, which was the home of his first-ever PGA Tour start as a teenager, and it may provide us with the best glimpse yet into the present state of his golf game. Riv represents one of the rare gaps on Woods’ pro golf resume (he has never won here), and its undulating terrain and generally well-regarded architectural features offer a chance to see both how his mettle and metal hang in for 72 holes.
But the golf is only one aspect of Woods’ return that is worthy of our attention; the other will be his attire. Genesis will mark the first start for Woods since the end of his nearly-three-decade partnership with Nike, and if his social media posts in recent weeks have been any indication, it’s likely the tournament will also represent the grand debut of his still-secretive new partnership. TaylorMade, Woods’ apparel partner, has been the brand rumored behind his new clothing line — and a trademarked logo allegedly tied to Tiger emerged on the internet just weeks ago.
In short, from the state of his current competitive makeup to the latest on his home tour’s negotiations with billionaire equity partners, it’s sure to be an informative week from golf’s most famous player. But the two-word headline here is all you really need to know: Tiger’s back.