Tiger Woods said his focus is on playing all four majors this year after he finished tied-45th at the Genesis Invitational – his first completed 72-hole tournament since last season’s Masters.
The 15-time major champion, 47, shot a final round 73 at Riviera Country Club on Sunday on what was his competitive comeback following seven months out.
Woods, whose last outing on the PGA Tour came with his missed cut at the Open in July, showed some form during the week, especially on Saturday, when he shot a 4-under-par 67.
However, Woods conceded his return to elite-level golf was more difficult than he originally admitted, as he continues to deal with leg issues following a serious car crash in Los Angeles two years ago.
“It's progress, headed in the right direction, yes,” Woods said after finishing 1-under for the tournament. “It certainly was a little bit more difficult than I probably let on.
“My team has been fantastic in getting my body recovered day to day and getting me ready to play each and every day. That's the hard part that I can't simulate at home.
“Even if I played four days at home, it's not the same as adrenaline, it's not the same as the system being ramped up like that, the intensity, just the focus that it takes to play at this level.
“No matter how much I'm very good at simulating that at home, but it's just not the same as being out here and doing it."
Woods, the tournament host, mixed five bogeys with three birdies in his final round, where he found eight out of 14 fairways but hit only nine greens.
The American must now decide whether or not to tee it up at another tournament before the Masters in April. Woods has won the Green Jacket five times, most recently in 2019 – his last major victory and first in 11 years.
Last year, Woods finished 47th at Augusta, withdrew after three rounds of the US PGA Championship, sat out the US Open, and missed the cut at St Andrews.
"Like I told you guys last year, I'm not going to play any more than probably the majors and maybe a couple more," he said. "That's it, that's all my body will allow me to do. My back the way it is, all the surgeries I had on my back, my leg the way it is, I just can't. That's just going to be my future.
"So, my intent last year was to play in all four majors; I got three of the four. Hopefully this year I can get all four and maybe sprinkle in a few here and there. But that's it for the rest of my career. I know that and I understand that. That's just my reality."
Meanwhile, Jon Rahm prevailed at Riviera, carding a 2-under 69 to climb to 17-under and finish two strokes ahead of Max Homa. With the win, his fifth in his past nine worldwide starts and third on this season’s PGA Tour, Rahm reclaimed his place as world No 1. The Spaniard, 28, now has 10 PGA Tour titles.