Tiger Woods will again start his PGA Tour season in the Farmers Insurance Open at his beloved Torrey Pines. The world number one will return to the scene of his last major title – the 2008 US Open – looking to kick off the new season with a bang. Joining the American in the field in San Diego will be Phil Mickelson, who will make his first appearance of the year at Torrey Pines at the end of January, in a tournament the lefty will be among the Betfair favourites to win.
Woods became the first player in PGA Tour history to win eight titles at the same venue last year, winning a seventh Farmers Insurance Open title. The 38-year-old has won on five of his last six visits to the south California course, while his epic play-off win over Rocco Mediate in the 2008 US Open remains his last major championship triumph.
A second-round 65 in the second round of last year’s event at Torrey Pines saw Woods take control of the tournament at the halfway point and prove Betfair fans right for backing him, with Tiger going on to cruise to a four-shot win over Brandt Snedeker and Josh Teater to win his first event of the year. Tiger went on from his victory in San Diego to put together a string of impressive results in the early part of 2013.
Woods returned to form last year by winning five PGA Tour events last year to take his career tally to 79 – just three behind the all-time record of Sam Snead – as well as resulting in Tiger returning to the world number one spot, something Betfair had tipped the American to achieve during the early part of the season.
The 14-time major champion will now be desperate to use his 2013 momentum to get himself back into major contention this year. Despite not winning a major since 2008, the 38-year old remains the stand-out favourite going into each of the four majors in 2014.