Buzz builds for Tiger's Torrey Pines return

Published January 24, 2018, 8:30 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Rebecca Bryan

LA JOLLA, United States – All eyes are on Tiger Woods this week as the former world number one returns to the US PGA Tour at the Farmers Insurance Open, and that’s just the way defending champion Jon Rahm likes it.

“The more attention on Tiger, the better for me, quite frankly,” Rahm said Tuesday. “We all know the power of media and social media. You can put all the attention on what Tiger’s doing and forget about what I’m doing, it will be actually great.”

Expectations surrounding Rahm have ratcheted up thanks to his playoff triumph on Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, California.

The 23-year-old Spaniard jumped from third to second in the world rankings, supplanting US star Jordan Spieth.

A winner of two European Tour events in 2017 as well, Rahm is even within striking distance of Dustin Johnson’s world number one ranking.

“Hopefully I keep playing good and give you guys something to talk about,” Rahm said. ”But it’s not bad that the attention’s on Tiger. It’s good for golf, it’s good for all of us.”

Woods was on the Torrey Pines South Course on Tuesday, playing nine holes with Australian Jason Day and Bryson DeChambeau.

Woods hasn’t played a US PGA Tour event since missing the cut at Torrey Pines last year, when he was returning from an 18-month absence.

That comeback was cut short by recurring back pain that led to spinal fusion surgery and another 10 months away from competition.

He made an encouraging return at the unofficial Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in December, where he finished ninth in a field of 18 and said he was finally playing without pain. (AFP)