Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Sports | By Ivan Ross

Why this week will tell us a lot about Tiger Woods' future

Why this week will tell us a lot about Tiger Woods' future

Dustin Johnson: The world No. 1 is a clear No. 1 in the power rankings this week. He's a core play for me this week. Sign up for a Golficity Premium Membership to get full access to our weekly fantasy golf predictions segment and so much more.

"This place, I love it to death". Riviera plays at just over 7,300 and is a par 71 set up that tends to favor longer hitters, as the past two winners here were Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson.

Johnson tops the betting at 5/1, which is no surprise considering the American came top of the pile past year, and was runner-up in each of the 2014 and 2015 editions. If not the jackpot, we can still get a healthy each-way return from a punt at 28s.

Woods made his eagerly anticipated return to the sport last month at the Farmers Insurance Open, finishing in a promising T23 - his first top-25 standing since 2015. It's nit-picking a little and you could argue 5/1 is a bet to nothing.

Tiger Woods finds a lot of things to love about Riviera Country Club, but his record here isn't one of them. McIlroy was 40 under over his first eight competitive rounds before a frustrating backslide on the fickle greens of the Monterey Peninsula. Dating back to the first event of the season in the fall, Steele has not finished outside of the top 30 in any of his six events played.

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He likes the course and it suits but can he jump from MC to victor in the space of a week?

The 14-time major victor is set to tee off at the Genesis Open this Thursday, with the likes of Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth in tow.

"Quality of life is something that I didn't think I could have".

It's another California event with Poa Annua greens but course form of MC-66-45 isn't too sharp. He hasn't played in this event since 2006 and it's one of the few tournaments he hasn't won on the PGA Tour. This year's US Amateur will be contested at Riviera. He finished T34 here last year and was 16 the year before.

During Tuesday's news conference, Woods said he knew the course has changed a bit since he was last here, so he dug out one of his old yardage books to give himself a little guidance.

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His colleagues certainly remember that Johnson was playing the best golf of his career - with those three wins at the Genesis and the two WGC tilts (the Mexico Championship and Match Play) - before hurting his back and having to withdraw from last year's Masters.

Woods will play alongside Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas in the opening two rounds, at a course where he has never won, despite playing at Riviera regularly while he was growing up.

He could be interesting at 125s.

Johnson, for his part, is bullish on his own skills, despite failing to wrap up a victory for the seventh time in 12 tries when entering the final round with a share of a 54-hole lead or better, according to the Associated Press.

"He's just a great kid, he really is", Woods said ahead of an event that benefits his foundation.

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