SAN DIEGO: World No.1 Tiger Woods will make his 2014 debut in two weeks at Torrey Pines, seeking his ninth career title at the Southern California golf course.
Officials of the US PGA Farmers Insurance Open announced that the 14-time major champion has committed to the field for the $6.1 million tournament on January 23-26.
Woods is also set to play the following week at the European Tour’s Dubai Desert Classic.
The commitment to Torrey Pines comes as Woods’ girlfriend, reigning Olympic women’s downhill ski champion Lindsey Vonn, has announced she will not attempt to defend her crown at next month’s Sochi Winter Olympics because of a knee injury that will require surgery.
Defending champion Woods, who won five times last year, won his first title of 2013 at Torrey Pines, becoming the first player in US PGA Tour history to win on the same course eight times.
Woods, 38, has won the tour event seven times in his career— including five of the past six times he has played it—and also captured the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines.
But Woods has not won a major title since that triumph as his pursuit of the all-time record of 18 major titles won by Jack Nicklaus has stalled.
Woods has won 79 career US PGA Tour titles, three titles shy of matching Sam Snead’s all-time record.
US rival Phil Mickelson, a three-time Torrey Pines champion and two-time runner-up at the Farmers tournament, will make his first start of the year at the tournament as well.
Reigning British Open champion Mickelson, 43, hopes to complete a career Grand Slam by winning the US Open title this year at Pinehurst. “Lefty” has finished second at the US Open six times, including last year at Merion and at Pinehurst in 1999.