Tiger Woods planned to scale back his schedule in 2019. While that trimming may occur, it doesn't appear to be happening in the run-up to the Masters.
Woods confirmed on Wednesday what ESPN Deportes had first reported on Tuesday, that he would be playing in next week's WGC-Mexico Championship.
The commitment was a surprise. Though Woods has won the event seven times in its various iterations since its inception in 1999, he has not played in the tournament since 2014. It was be Woods' first time at the Mexican venue; the WGC-Championship moved from Trump Doral to Chapultepec in 2016 following controversial remarks made by Donald Trump during his presidential campaign.
Just as curious is the forecast for Woods after Mexico. The next week, the tour begins the Florida swing at the Honda Classic (Feb. 28-March 3), followed by the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill (March 7-10) and the Players Championship (March 14-17). If Woods were to play all these events, it would mean five straight weeks of competition, a workload that he had said he'd be trying to avoid as he planned for 2019.
Seemingly Woods would be a lock for Bay Hill, where he's won eight times and finished T-5 last season, and the Players, the tour's flagship event that Woods has won twice. That potentially leaves the Honda Classic in doubt. Though Woods has never won the event and has made just five career starts at PGA National Golf Club, the course is basically a home game for Woods, just 30 minutes from his home in Jupiter. But coming off consecutive weeks at Riviera and Chapultepec, it's hard to envision the 43-year-old playing this much golf this early in the season.
Tiger's commitment to Honda looks especially ominous if Woods decides to play in the Valspar Championship, a tournament Woods finished T-2 in last year, that is being played the week after the Players. The WGC-Dell Match Play in Austin follows the Valspar, which could also draw interest from Woods. He is not expected to play in the Valero Texas Open, which is now the week before the Masters.
Woods is making just his second start of the season this week at Riviera.
This story has been updated from its original publication.