One big question looms as Tiger Woods embarks on a new season: What's next? After a return to the big stage a season ago, in which he not only played a full schedule but won again with an impressive performance at the Tour Championship, Woods is back for the next chapter.
Will this season be better? Worse? Include another win, or multiple wins? What about that elusive 15th major championship?
We're here to chronicle every step along the way.
Yes, Tiger knows his way around the place. He's been coming to the place a long, long time. He grew up nearby and played his first PGA Tour event here, as an amateur, in 1992. Still, he's never won here. This, though, won't be about winning either. It's just the next step in the journey toward the year's first major at Augusta National in April. Woods will likely make a few more starts between now and then -- maybe next week in Mexico, probably two or three times during the Florida swing. So what is this week about? Well, reps, of course, long one of Woods' favorite words. It's also about getting out of the gate a bit faster. He played a strong Sunday round at Farmers, but the first three days he went around in so-so form. That's what he'll be looking to slowly rid himself of in these pre-Masters tuneups.
Earlier in 2019 ...
Farmers Insurance Open
Tiger eased into his 2019 schedule, starting slow before a strong closing round to get him some extra FedEx Cup points. Expecting him to win his first start in a new season -- even though he's held his arms high at the end of eight events at Torrey Pines -- isn't reasonable. These aren't the old days. This was about getting back in tournament mode, shaking off some rust and starting the buildup to April at Augusta National. So while the first three days were frustrating -- he couldn't get anything going -- the closing 67, including a back-nine 31, will add some confidence as he works on his game over the next two weeks before resurfacing at Riviera for the Genesis Open on Feb. 14-17.
Key stat: Tiger Woods finished 10th in the field with 5.856 strokes gained tee to green, but he took 118 putts this week, including 61 on the weekend. His 29.5 putts per round were T-57.
Round 1: 70
Round 2: 70
Round 3: 71
Round 4: 67
How he closed 2018 ...
Hero World Challenge
After a lengthy layoff following a poor Ryder Cup -- the lone appearance between the Ryder Cup and this event in the Bahamas was his one-off Match with Phil Mickelson -- Woods struggled all week and finished 17th in the 18-player field (Hideki Matsuyama was last).
"Overall, it was a long week," he said.
Key stat: The short holes were Woods' downfall. He played the 20 par 3s in 7-over -- five bogeys, one triple and a birdie. He was 8-under over the rest of the golf course.
Round 1: 73
Round 2: 69
Round 3: 72
Round 4: 73
Finish: 17th (18-player field)
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Earlier this season ...
It was promoted for months and months, the long-awaited showdown with longtime rival Phil Mickelson. Perhaps the golf didn't live up to the hype -- or the promised level of trash talk, either -- but it was the unofficial kickoff to Woods' new season.
Lost 1-up in 22 holes.