After losing the 54-hole lead at the HSBC Championship in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago, current No. 17 in the world Tiger Woods is happy to be playing in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am once again,looking to start his 2012 PGA Tour season with a bang:
"It's always been one of my favorite spots," said Woods, who this week will be playing in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am for the first time since 2002 as he makes his first appearance of the season on the PGA Tour. "It might be the prettiest place on Earth."
The long absence from Pebble Beach in a competitive environment shouldn't be a problem for Woods, who came from seven strokes back on Sunday in 2000 to secure the victory at the National Pro-Am and is the site of his 2000 U.S. Open performance in which he won by a record 15 strokes.
Nevertheless, the replacement of Poppy Hills with Monterey Peninsula back in 2010 as part of the three-course circuit is something that will be new for Tiger, joining the likes of Spyglass Hill as well:
"I've never played Monterey Peninsula and am looking forward to it," said Woods, "From all I've heard, it's a wonderful course and the greens are fast."
Another new faction of this event is that Tiger will be pairing up with his good buddy and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo for the Pro-Am portion of the tournament, which a great pairing for both Woods and the tournament, who is already up 20% in ticket sales with Tiger in the field.
From ESPN's golf guru Bob Harig on the pairing of Romo and Woods:
"It makes perfect sense, especially for Tiger," said Bob Harig of espn.com. "Romo, the Dallas Cowboys' quarterback, is an avid golfer, a low single-digit handicap player who has even made it through local qualifying for the U.S. Open. That's the type of player Tiger prefers in pro-ams."
This could be another big week in terms of Tiger's fall from grace, who's finally got his game back into competitive shape. A win here could bolster his confidence, and world ranking, immensely, while putting the rest of the Tour on watch that Mr. Woods is back in the building.
"AT&T is a great partner to my Foundation, and I'm looking forward to playing in this event. I haven't been to this tournament lately, but I have a lot of good memories at Pebble. It will be fun going back."