Tiger Woods played his best golf since the car crash in February 2021 that threatened to end his career to finish tied-45th at the Genesis Invitational, as Jon Rahm walked away with his third PGA Tour win of 2023 to regain the world No. 1 spot.
It was Woods’ first competitive outing since The Open Championship in July 2022 and his first non-major appearance since October 2020.
The 15-time major winner has played sparingly since sustaining serious leg injuries in the crash in Southern California, but shot his lowest single round score – 67 on Saturday – since the crash en route to finishing one-under-par for the tournament.
Following his final round, Woods said his goal from now on is to play the four majors every year, but he doesn’t expect “to play too much more than that.”
“My body and my leg and my back just won’t allow me to play much more than that anymore,” he told CBS. “So that was my goal last year and I was able to play three of the four, and this year, I can hopefully play all four. That is going to be my schedule going forward because of all of the limitations I have.
“My game is fine. Yeah, it is rusty. I made some silly mistakes here and there, and I didn’t quite pick up the speed of the greens each and every day fast enough, like I normally would if I was playing.
“But overall, I feel like I hit the ball like I have been hitting it at home. I just had to bring it out here where I had to walk from point A to point B and that was always the difficulty of it. I am just so thankful for all my team for getting me ready each and every night, morning, to at least give myself a chance to go out there and play. I was able to do it.”
Woods added that he expects to play the Masters in April, the first major of the year and a tournament he has won five times.
Meanwhile, Rahm continued his stunning form in 2023 to win the 10th PGA Tour title of his career and knock Scottie Scheffler off the top of the world rankings.
The Spaniard came through a nail-biting, final-round battle against Max Homa to win by two shots after posting a final score of 17-under-par, which included two birdies in his final five holes.
The victory marks Rahm’s fifth win in his last nine competitive starts as he continues to play perhaps the best golf of his career.
“That was a tough week and a tough Sunday,” Rahm told CBS. “Max battled out there and Patrick [Cantlay] gave us a scare, so I’m just glad I could come through at the end.
“I’ve never had three PGA Tour wins in a season and to do it this early on is incredible, and to do it at this golf course … I’ve won five out of my last nine starts, I haven’t finished worse than top seven and I’ve won three tournaments already.
“I don’t need a ranking to tell me, to validate anything, right? I’m having the best season of my life, and hopefully, I can keep it going.”