Tiger Woods said he is confident that his battered 41-year-old body can withstand the rigors of playing in four golf tournaments over the next five weeks.

The 14-time major winner, who returned to golf in December at the Hero World Challenge following a 15-month injury layoff, has committed to a hectic schedule which will see him open his 2017 season at this week’s Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego.

“I have played one time in the last 18 months,” American Woods said at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. “I just need to get in some tournament golf. I am looking forward to it.”

After the Farmers at the Torrey Pines course, Woods will fly off to United Arab Emirates for the Dubai Desert Classic from February 2-5, followed by the Genesis Open at Riviera on February 16-19. He then travels home to Florida to take part in the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens (February 23-26).

The Farmers Open will be Woods’ first full field tournament since undergoing back surgery in 2015.

Asked if he is physically up to the task with all the injuries he has endured the past several years, Woods said, “That is a concern but I am looking forward to it. I feel I am strong enough to handle the workload.

“I sat out long enough. I have been on the sidelines so long.”

Woods admitted he once doubted whether he would ever return to golf.

“There was a time when I didn’t know if I could ever swing a golf club again and play with my kids,” he said.

The former world No. 1 may be far from his top form, but he says he still has his sights set on competing in the majors and his first order of business is the Masters in April.

“I am hoping to get everything right so I can play,” he said. “I am thinking about it (Masters) now.”

Woods has won the PGA Tour’s Torrey Pines tournament seven times in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2013.

“It was the first PGA tournament I went to,” Woods said. “So I got exposed to pro golf there.”

Shanghai Daily


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