Woods to launch 2014 campaign at Torrey Pines

Mon Jan 6, 2014 7:16pm EST
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(Reuters) - World number one Tiger Woods will launch his 2014 campaign at one of his favorite venues, having committed on Monday to play in this month's Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, tournament organizers said.

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 breaks.

"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."

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.   Continued...

Golfer Tiger Woods of the U.S. watches the Women's World Cup Downhill skiing race in Val d'Isere, French Alps, December 21, 2013. REUTERS/Robert Pratta