Tiger Woods Confirmed For Surprise Start In Event He's Never Played Before

The 15-time Major winner will tee it up in Florida alongside the likes of Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy

Close-up headshot of Tiger Woods at the 2024 Genesis Invitational
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tiger Woods is set to play the Seminole Pro-Member on Monday in his first public appearance since withdrawing from the Genesis Invitational last month.

The 48-year-old was making his debut PGA Tour start since returning from injury at Riviera Country Club midway through February, although it did not turn out anywhere near as planned with Woods being forced to pull out after contracting influenza prior to the weekend.

But, having rested up and eyeing a few more meaningful reps before The Masters (and possibly The Players Championship), the 15-time Major winner has opted to feature at the one-day event in Juno Beach, Florida for the first time in his career.

Always taking place on the Monday after the Cognizant Classic, the highly-exclusive tournament is a two-person best-ball competition which regularly hosts the best and brightest from across not only golf but also other sports and business.

A post first shared on X by @5ClubsGolf exhibiting all of the competition's entrants showed Woods has been paired with PGA of America CEO, Seth Waugh and will play in a foursome with his good friend and two-time Major winner, Justin Thomas - as well as his playing partner, Mike Walrath - chairman and CEO of software company, Yext.

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Other notable faces set to play at Seminole Golf Club this year include; Rory McIlroy, Nelly Korda, Ernie Els, Justin Leonard, Tony Finau, and Tom Brady. The latter pair are in a group together which will tee off directly behind Woods and co.

Many of the players at Seminole will be playing twice over the next seven days, with the PGA Tour's next Signature Event - the Arnold Palmer Invitational - set to begin on Thursday at Bay Hill.

Woods is not expected to be one of them, however, with the 48-year-old predicted to make his next PGA Tour start at The Players (March 14-17).

Wherever he does rock up, though, Woods will do so as the latest recipient of the USGA's Bob Jones award after he was confirmed to have landed the USGA's highest prize on Saturday.

A nine-time USGA event champion, the 82-time PGA Tour winner follows in the footsteps of legendary figures such as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, and Annika Sorenstam in claiming a prize which “recognizes commitment to sportsmanship and respect for golf’s time-honored traditions.”

In a statement, Woods admitted he was "humbled" before going on to say: “It’s especially fitting to receive this honor from the USGA, which has meant so much to my career and the entire game of golf.”

Meanwhile, CEO of the USGA, Mike Whan said: “This award goes beyond playing performance, recognizing the lasting impact of one person’s journey that has forever changed the image and growth of golf.

“There are very few who stand alongside Tiger Woods in terms of on-course accomplishments, and he is in a class of his own when it comes to the impact he has made on the game and future generations who will play it.”

Jonny Leighfield
Staff Writer

Jonny Leighfield is our Staff News Writer who joined Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. An improving golfer who still classes himself as ‘one of the worst players on the Golf Monthly team’, Jonny enjoys playing as much as he can and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Opens and is keen to make it an annual pilgrimage.