Woods in showdown with Rahm, Rose, Matsuyama at Torrey Pines
Tiger Woods will tee it up against four of the world's top seven golfers as the 14-time Major champion continues his latest injury comeback when the Farmers Insurance Open begins this Thursday.
Spain's Jon Rahm, who jumped to a career-high ranking of world No. 2 yesterday after securing his second US PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge over the weekend, will be defending his title at Torrey Pines.
Also present will be Japan's world No. 5 Hideki Matsuyama, sixth-ranked Justin Rose of England and world No. 7 Rickie Fowler of the US.
Former world No. 1 Jason Day of Australia and five-time Major winner Phil Mickelson are also entered in a tournament due to feature 19 of the world's top 50.
It has been a while since Woods featured that high in the rankings, but the former top-ranked golfer is sure to be the focus of attention in his first official US PGA Tour event since back surgery last April that sidelined him for nearly 10 months.
Woods finished an encouraging ninth in an 18-man field at the unofficial Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas last month, where he said he was finally playing without pain.
His eight wins at Torrey Pines include seven US PGA Tour victories and the 2008 US Open title, which he won despite battling leg injuries.
That was Woods' most recent Major triumph, with his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 derailed since then by a succession of injuries.
When he teed off at Torrey last January, he hoped he was on the way back after missing the entire 2015-16 season with back trouble. He missed the cut and his comeback bid ground to a halt a month later.
Woods is slated to play the Genesis Open in Los Angeles as he builds toward a Masters campaign in April. - AFP