By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Where Tiger Woods will open his 2012 PGA TOUR still remains unknown -- he said Wednesday he’ll take a look at the schedule in the next couple of weeks. What isn’t is that he will likely turn up somewhere he hasn’t played before, or at least at a tournament he hasn’t played in some time.
“What [PGA TOUR Commissioner] Tim [Finchem] wanted us to do is play different events each year, and I did that this year,” Woods said from the Chevron World Challenge. “I see no reason why I’m not going to do that next year.
“I will play a new event next year. That’s something that I think is good for the TOUR so I’m going to do that for sure.”
One such possibility: The Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. which is just down the road from Woods’ new home in Jupiter.
As for a possible opener on TOUR for Woods, the AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach, is one. Woods hasn’t played there since 2002, but he’s won there before.
Since 2006, Woods had opened his TOUR season at the Buick Invitational four times, including this year. But Woods has already committed next year to the Abu Dhabi Championship, which is the same week as the Torrey Pines event.
“I love playing [at Torrey], but I also like playing in the desert,” Woods said. “I have never been to Abu Dhabi so decided to mix it up a little bit.”
Another possibility, at least judging by Woods’ schedule in recent years, would be starting his year at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
While Woods could open his 2012 season at any number of stops, what he won’t necessarily change is the number of tournaments he’ll play. While he has in recent months talked about needing reps, he said Wednesday that his schedule, at least in terms of numbers, has worked out pretty well through the years.
“People don’t realize how much golf I play when I’m getting ready for an event,” Woods said. “I wasn’t able to do any of that [when injured] because I was under a strict ball count for the day.
“I like to practice and then go out and play. I’m not one of those guys who can play a bunch of weeks in a row. I'd much rather just practice a lot, come out, play and be fully invested in that one event.”
From 2000 to 2007, Woods played more than 19 events just twice. In 2008, his season was cut short by knee surgery, while in 2009 he played 17 events. His 2010 and 2011 schedules were impacted by injury or personal issues or both.
So while it doesn’t sound like Woods will be adding to his schedule, he will be showing up somewhere new.