(Reuters) – It can be no extra mister good man when Tiger Woods tees up on the Genesis Open beginning at Riviera on Thursday, the 14-times main champion stated.
After spending the previous couple of years extra a relaxed and cuddly mentor than a ruthless competitor as he handled a doubtlessly career-ending again harm, Woods is able to assume his erstwhile function as a steely-eyed murderer.
He will play the primary two rounds in Los Angeles this week with Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas, the latter experiencing his first aggressive spherical with Woods.
“I don’t care how they react,” Woods stated when requested how he anticipated right now’s younger breed to cope with what he hopes is his re-emergence as a critical challenger.
“I’m attempting to win a match (and) I’m positive they really feel the identical method however hey it’s successful time.
“I believe now they’re beginning to see me as a competitor as a result of I’m beginning to come again once more.
“For some time that wasn’t the case. I used to be only a particular person they may bounce concepts off. They would decide my mind, however now it’s extra as a taking part in competitor. We nonetheless give the needle and have a complete bunch of enjoyable but in addition they know I’m taking part in a match and so are they.”
Riviera, the place Woods made his PGA Tour debut as a 16-year-old novice in 1992, is the one course on the PGA Tour the place he has performed greater than 10 tournaments with no victory.
He was a daily, competing in what previously was his hometown occasion referred to as the Los Angeles Open 11 instances with no victory, earlier than scrubbing the match from his schedule after 2006.
Relatively brief and tight by fashionable requirements, Riviera didn’t go well with a long-hitting younger Woods however he may discover it extra to his liking now as a 42-year-old with a fused backbone, nonetheless in a position to hit the ball a good distance, however no additional than many of his friends.
Woods isn’t fairly able to predict a timeline for the place his outcomes are headed, regardless of a good tie for 23rd at Torrey Pines three weeks in the past in his first look of the yr.
He will definitely have stiff competitors this week from a discipline headed by world primary and defending champion Dustin Johnson.
“Eventually I’d like to win tournaments,” Woods stated.
“I’m attempting to get by means of that course of to get to that time.
”I’m making small, refined adjustments in my posture and my swing as a result of I’m beginning to perceive my physique a little bit bit extra as a result of this again is simply completely different than it was.”
Reporting by Andrew Both in Adelaide, South Australia, enhancing by Ed Osmond