Tiger Woods issues brutal slapdown of rivals at Genesis Open

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Woods has yet to commit to his adopted hometown tournament, the Honda Classic, waiting to see how he fares this week in the opening rounds of the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club. For £6.99 you can get a day pass, if you just wish to watch one of the rounds, or for just £10.99 you can get a week pass to see the whole tournament.

Woods opened his 2018 campaign with a 23 place finish at Torrey Pines last month, and says the new generation of players will still be intimidated seeing his name on a leaderboard.

Riviera, where Woods made his PGA Tour debut as a 16-year-old amateur in 1992, is the only course on the PGA Tour where he has played more than 10 tournaments without a victory. He hasn't played in this event since 2006 and it's one of the few tournaments he hasn't won on the PGA Tour.

Dustin Johnson is the defending champion in the Genesis Open and he comes into the event already a victor in 2018, having captured the Sentry Tournament of Champions title in Hawaii.

His scheduled return in 2017 was foiled by yet more back trouble.

Asked what he wants to accomplish as he gets back to regular competition, Woods replied: "Just not to feel sore".

Woods, 42, is making his third tournament start since returning from spinal fusion surgery past year.

Some of the holes have really changed.

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"I'd eventually like to win tournaments". "I am trying to get through that process to get to that point". "Even with not having my best stuff, I felt like I still should have been a lot closer".

Just like the students at his Learning Center in Anaheim, Tiger Woods is doing some homework over the next two days before teeing off in the first round of the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club.

After spending the past couple of years more a calm and cuddly mentor than a ruthless competitor as he dealt with a potentially career-ending back injury, Woods is ready to assume his erstwhile role as a steely-eyed assassin.

He said: "It'd be a great sign if I do play and I think it'd be a smart sign if I don't play". If there's anybody I'd want on a soaked, long, hard course, Johnson would be on the top of that list. He said, "That was the year before I was born". "I just need to get there". But to shoot 3-under par for the tournament based on his errant driving was a testament to how good Woods' short game was that week.

"I love the golf course, I love the layout, it fits my eye and I play it very bad, " Woods said.

It was two years ago, when he got off to a slow start his second year on tour, that he cashed in on an offer from Jack Nicklaus to call if he ever needed anything. "I'm sure they feel the same way", said Woods.

"As for the guys who are on tour who are young, I can handle myself", the world No 550 said.

So, instead, I'll take the same price on a player who does love this layout and has the results to back it up - Martin Laird.

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