Tiger Woods returns to Torrey Pines with loftier goals for 2019

Posted at 6:55 PM, Jan 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-23 08:30:37-05

(KGTV) Last year at Torrey Pines, Tiger Woods was just hoping to avoid shooting pain down his leg.

He accomplished that goal in his return to the PGA Tour following spinal fusion surgery, finishing in a tie for 23rd place at the Farmers Insurance Open.

This year, Woods is back to a more familiar goal at Torrey -- winning.

Tiger proved he could still succeed at golf's highest level last September when he won the Tour Championship for his first victory in five years. This week marks his first PGA Tour event since that memorable weekend. Woods spoke to reporters on Tuesday about his revised expectations in 2019.

"This year is totally different. I know what I can do. I know what I'm feeling. Now it's about finishing a little better and winning some events this year."

Woods owns a record seven wins at the Farmers Insurance Open. He'll get to play his first two rounds on Thursday and Friday with rising local star Xander Schauffele. The Scripps Ranch native already has two victories on the PGA Tour this season, rising to #6 in the World Golf Rankings.

Schauffele has never had much success at Torrey, though, missing the cut every time he's played in the Farmers Insurance Open. "I played here in high school matches, that's the most I did out here. Nine holes from the white tees. That's a lot more fun than the blacks."

Thursday's opening round will also mark the first time Schauffele has played with Woods. That means huge galleries and lots of TV cameras. "I really sell myself as a space cadet. Maybe I'll just go with that this week. I have no idea who I'm playing with."

The threesome of Tiger Woods, Xander Schauffele, and Tony Finau will tee off on the first hole of the South Course on Thursday at 10:40am. They'll also play their second round together on Friday on the North Course, starting on the 10th hole at 9:30am.