Tiger Woods returns to Torrey Pines with loftier goals for 2019

Getty Images

Getty Images

Tiger Woods called Mickelson not being here this week "unfortunate, " but added, "He has a busy schedule, so I understand him not playing this week".

Woods owns a record seven wins at the Farmers Insurance Open.

The first two rounds at this event are split between the North and South courses at Torrey Pines.

"You need to be a tremendous ball striker".

"I was in between playing here and Phoenix next week". Built like a basketball player (and he indeed did play college hoops at Washburn College for one year before transferring to KU for golf), Woodland has deceptively developed as one of the best all-around players in the game today. "So I can see why he has done so well around here".

Woods gets his next crack when he makes his 2019 debut at Torrey Pines, with a chance to win consecutive PGA Tour starts for the first time in six years. He's logged four top-25 finishes at the Farmers Insurance Open in his career, including a sixth-place performance previous year at 7-under, just three shots off Day's tournament-winning score.

Woods ended up getting some chili instead. So a year ago was very fluid and it was like trying to hit a moving target. There's going to be a lot of adjustments that players are going to have to make with their scheduling this year and trying to figure out what the right balance is. I have done everything that has been asked of me to be a member of that tour and I haven't made the decision this year if I am going to go that route or not again.

McIlroy is usually playing on the European Tour at this time of year, but is focusing on the US this year, primarily due to the new schedule in which the four majors are played between May and July, and the PGA Tour season finishes in August.

Woods was on the prowl during the Pro-Am on Wednesday at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego when he walked over to a tent containing a bunch of pizza from Dang Brother Pizza. Last year, the North course averaged 71.41 while the South was at 72.14. He was only 10 when he played the Junior World, not old enough to compete at Torrey.

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The World No.5 is the top-ranked player in the field for this week's Omega Dubai Desert Classic and has his sights set on a first European Tour title before turning his attention to the game's four biggest prizes.

But it has felt familiar to him this week.

Woods said he is more likely to use the pin if he has a longer putt and can't see the bottom of the hole and, potentially, on very short putts where another player chose to leave the flagstick in.

Watch the Farmers Insurance Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports.

At Torrey, everything comes back to Tiger.

Well, that was one hell of a back nine for unheralded rookie Adam Long. "Ten years longer than you've been alive", he replied to the 25-year-old Spieth. It's a course on which he has won eight times as a pro, equal to his number of wins at Bay Hill and Firestone. "I really enjoyed the last couple days and I'm going to try and enjoy this week as much as I can". "Those are big accomplishments".

"This year is totally different".

Jason Day is bracing himself for one of the US PGA Tour's toughest golf courses after posting a solid opening round in his Farmers Insurance Open title defence in California.

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