TigerMade at Torrey
By Stephanie Wei under Tiger Woods

tiger woods

Big news on the Tiger Woods front this week: Well, first of all, he’s making his 42nd comeback to competitive golf at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, where he’s won eight times — seven of these PGA Tour titles and one U.S. Open (on a broken leg!). This event is much more significant than that little tournament in the Bahamas with 17 people in the field, where Woods placed 15th, last month.

It will mark Woods’ return to the PGA Tour in 17 months after enduring several back surgeries and procedures in 2015. He says he feels different, though, and he’s also thrown in some new clubs into the bag — since his sponsor Nike Golf announced last year that it will no longer manufacture golf clubs. 

Woods announced Wednesday that he had signed with TaylorMade to play its driver, fairway woods, irons and wedges. This week he still has his Nike irons in his bag, but plans to work with his new club sponsor on making some tools that are up to his standards. He’s also playing with a Bridgestone ball, but still wearing Nike gear.

Damn, these former Nike staffers are getting the best of ALL worlds. They’re still getting paid out the rest of their Nike contracts and they’ll continue to sport Nike clothes (which are some of the best in the industry, IMHO), but they’ll cash extra paychecks to play other equipment by multiple companies. Every player’s dream!

Woods will tee it up alongside Jason Day, who also plays TaylorMade and wears Nike, and Dustin Johnson, another TaylorMade staffer. Since Day announced the Nike/TaylorMade deal first, I think there’s a joke somewhere that his idol who inspired him to take up the game and reach that no. 1 spot in the world rankings is now following in his footsteps…

The threesome, who will resemble a walking TaylorMade ad, will start at 1:40 ET at Torrey Pines’ South Course. Best of luck. How do you think Tiger will do?

I’m mostly surprised at his crazy schedule playing four out of five weeks, including a trip halfway across the world to Dubai next week for the Desert Classic (where he’s receiving a very handsome seven-digit appearance fee, mind you). Then, he’s playing at Riviera in LA and the Honda Classic in Florida, which is a “home game” for him. We’ll see how his body and game holds up real quick.