Los Angeles - 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 on Thursday.
Spain's Jon Rahm, ranked third in the world and the
defending champion at Torrey Pines, and Japan's world number five Hideki
Matsuyama are the top-ranked players in a field that also includes sixth-ranked
Justin Rose of England and number seven Rickie Fowler.
Former world number one 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 world number one is sure to be the focus of attention
in his first official US PGA Tour event since back surgery last April that
sidelined him nearly 10 months.
Woods finished an encouraging ninth in an 18-man field at
the unofficial Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in December, 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
That was Woods' most recent major triumph, with his pursuit
of Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 derailed since then by a succession of
When he teed it up 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
Woods reportedly warmed up for Torrey Pines by playing a
round with former US President Barack Obama in Florida last week.
Golf Channel reported that Woods teed it up with Obama at
The Floridian in Palm City.
After Torrey, Woods is slated to play the Genesis Open at
Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles as he builds toward a Masters campaign in