Woods won the event there for a record seventh time last year,
ending a week of mainly dominant golf by clinching his 75th PGA Tour
title by four shots.
It was the third different PGA Tour event where he has achieved the
feat, having previously piled up seven wins apiece at the
WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Woods had been widely expected to officially commit to his title
defense at the January 23-26 Farmers Insurance Open after being
asked by reporters last month whether he expected to start the new
season with more or less confidence than before.
"Well, I've done well at Torrey Pines," he replied, after losing a
playoff to fellow American Zach Johnson for the Northwestern Mutual
World Challenge which he hosts. "I've done pretty good. That's my
first tournament back."
Pressed on whether he ever experienced doubts heading into a fresh
campaign, Woods replied: "Of course. I mean I've come off of long
"I've come off of surgeries, you know, whatever it may be. I've had
my share of off-seasons, and I can tell you one thing, I'm looking
forward to this one."
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Woods comes off a highly successful 2013 campaign, having won
a season-high five times on the PGA Tour and earning the circuit
Player of the Year accolade, as voted upon by his peers.
The only blemish on an otherwise impressive resume was his
failure to add another major title to his career tally of 14,
which has stalled since his remarkable playoff victory for the
2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
"Pretty damn good year," Woods said of his 2013 season. "Five
wins, and you know, on some pretty good venues, so very pleased
with the year. I'm really excited about the major championships
"I've won at three of the four venues — Augusta National,
Valhalla Golf Club (PGA Championship) and Royal Liverpool
(British Open) — and on Pinehurst No. 2 (U.S. Open), I'm
trending the right way, having finished third and second.
"But I still need to practice, work, grind and prepare, and have
my game come together those four times a year. And I hope that
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Pasadena, California;
editing by Frank Pingue)
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