PGA Tour Pros React To Tiger Woods Return Announcement

It's safe to say that players are excited to see the 15-time Major champion return to action

Woods smiles while holding a microphone
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Despite not being seen in competitive full tournament action since missing the cut at St Andrews last July, Tiger Woods is still the needle mover within the game of golf. Now, after an announcement on Friday night, the 15-time Major winner is set to make his return at the Genesis Invitational, an event he in fact hosts.

It's safe to say that golf fans around the world were excited about the announcement but, after the conclusion of play at the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Friday, it appears that players may be even more excited to see Tiger feature, with the chance of playing in a tournament with the Golf Hall of Famer a rare commodity in the modern era. 

"He's playing Riv? Nice. Well I didn't know. Great to hear. Great to hear," stated in-form player Jon Rahm, who sits just two shots back of leader Scottie Scheffler in Phoenix. The Spaniard went on to add: "After all he's gone through. It's incredible that he keeps trying. Spoke to him at Bahamas. Everything he had on his leg and then you add the plantar fasciitis. I really feel for him in that sense.

"But I know he's going to keep doing everything he can to still try to win more tournaments. Possibly get that 83rd win. Hopefully, obviously in his mind a Major, right? So it's a true honor for all of us. Any time Tiger can be present on the golf course playing makes the tournament even better. So I'm hoping he can play comfortably and I'm hoping he can play well."

Speaking of Scheffler, the former World No.1, who could move back to the top of the World Rankings with a win at TPC Scottsdale, also didn't know that Tiger would be returning, with the American claiming that "I'm just hearing that now. That's exciting for us. It will be good to see him back out there next week."

Another player who will be happy to see Tiger's return is Max Homa, who was actually paired with the 47-year-old at St Andrews in 2022. In typical Homa style, he had a humorous quip for Tiger's return, with the American stating: "That's awesome. I imagine we'll be carrying him down the hill on 1 and up it on 18. Which no one would mind. But it's awesome. I'm really glad he's back."

Max Homa Genesis

Tiger and Homa at the 2021 Genesis Invitational 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Homa, who claimed the Genesis Invitational title back in 2021, added: "I think we're privileged any time he plays now. Obviously we don't know his schedule. Seems like he's going to try to play the Majors. So it's really awesome he's playing a Tour event. Especially his event. One of my favorites. So I'm stoked to see him back out there. Yeah, he's always remarkable. You never know what he's going to do. So it will be fun to watch him play some golf."

Other names who reacted to the news included Jason Day and Tom Kim, with the Genesis Invitational set to get underway on Thursday 16th February at the iconic Riviera Country Club in California. One thing that is for certain is that defending champion, Joaquin Niemann, won't be in attendance, as the Chilean moved to LIV Golf back in August 2022.

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x