Tiger Woods will make his 2012 PGA Tour debut at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Feb. 9-12, he announced Monday. It will mark his first appearance since 2002.
“I’m excited to start my PGA Tour season at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am,” Woods said. “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.”
His fondest recollections are from 2000, when he came from five strokes back in the final round of the AT&T to edge Matt Gogel. Four months later, he won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach by a record-breaking 15 shots.
“It’s always been one of my favorite spots,” said Woods, who first saw the breathtaking property with his late father, Earl, when he was playing junior golf. “It might be the prettiest place on earth.”
Woods, who will begin his new season Jan. 26 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, at the HSBC Championship, last played at Pebble Beach in the 2010 U.S. Open, where he tied for fourth.
Two major changes have occurred in the AT&T tournament since he last competed. The field has been reduced from 180 pros and amateurs to 156, which has improved the pace of play. In addition, the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club has replaced Poppy Hills Golf Course in the three-course rotation, which includes Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill Golf Course.
“I’ve never played Monterey Peninsula and am looking forward to it,” Woods said. “From all I’ve heard, it’s a wonderful course and the greens are fast.”
Woods concluded the 2011 season by winning his Foundation’s tournament at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., snapping a two-year winless drought. He opens 2012 with 84 worldwide victories, including 71 PGA Tour titles and 14 major championships.
“It was great to finish 2011 strong,” said Woods. “More importantly, it’s good to be healthy again, and I’m hoping to get off to a fast start.”
Pebble won’t be the first chance viewers will get in 2012 to see Tiger Woods play. He will be in action January 26-29 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.