Golf Emperor Tiger Woods (USA)’s first appearance of the new year overlapped with ‘Stage 2’, the world’s No. This week’s PGA Tour Genesis Invitational has become the hottest event this year.
Tiger Woods hosted the 3rd PGA Tour special tournament, the Genesis Invitational (total prize money of 20 million dollars), to be held at the Riviera CC (par 71) in Pacific Palisades, near Los Angeles, USA for four days from the 17th (Korean time). Beyond the role, he decided to participate as a player, drawing extraordinary attention. Few predicted that Woods, who still has trouble walking due to the aftereffects of a fatal car accident suffered two years ago, would participate in a PGA Tour regular tournament so quickly, not a major tournament.
Woods’ participation in the tournament is the first in seven months since the 150th The Open Championship in July last year. Woods, who participated in three major tournaments including the Masters tournament last year, breaking the expectation that it would be difficult to pick up a golf club again due to the aftereffects of a life-and-death car accident, was scheduled to participate only in major tournaments this year. There was a prospect that this tournament sponsored by Hyundai Motor Company and hosted by the Tiger Woods Foundation could be the emperor’s first tournament this year, but this schedule was also unclear as he could not participate in the Hero World Challenge held in the Bahamas in December last year due to aggravated injury.
It is the first time in two years and four months that Woods has participated in a regular PGA Tour tournament, not a major tournament, since the Jojo Championship (October), in which he defended his title in 2020. He has been unable to participate in the Genesis Championship for the first time in three years since he started as an organizer and player in 2020 and in 2021, right before his accident, due to a back injury.
Last week, John Rahm said, “Every tournament featuring Tiger Woods is special. As he said, his participation is an honor for all of us.” The Genesis Invitational is already attracting attention beyond major competitions with the presence of the emperor. It is true that the 2022 US Open, which was the only major tournament in which Woods did not participate last year, did not receive as much attention as this time.
The competition for world No. 1 is still hot. Scotty Scheffler successfully defended his WM Phoenix Open title and regained world No. 1 안전놀이터 in four months, but if McIlroy, who came down to No. 2, and Ram, No. 3, who is aiming for a reversal, win this week, they can rise to the top of the world again. For the time being, their rivalry continues.
As a special event that top players must participate in, 23 players within the world’s top 25 will participate. World No. 15 Kim Joo-hyung (21) and Im Seong-jae (18th, 25), who recently ranked in the top 10 for two consecutive years, Kim Si-woo (28), Lee Kyung-hoon (32), Kim Seong-hyun (25), who are aiming for a second win following the Sony Open, and 2022 Kim Young-soo (34), who was invited as the winner of the KPGA Korean Tour Genesis Championship, also cast a vote.