Farmers set to cut Woods down to size
Rusty Tiger faces serious examination
Sky Sports 4, 8pm Thursday
Event starts 5pm
Tiger Woods is being thrown in at the deep end on his return to US Tour action and a Farmers Insurance Open threeball with Jason Day and Dustin Johnson awaits the 14-times Major champion.
Woods could have been forgiven for hoping that the tournament organisers might put him in a more low-key match as he bids to revive a seriously faltering career at the age of 41. No such luck. His game will be compared from the off alongside the two best players in the field in a high-pressure marquee group.
Woods enjoyed general acclaim for his comeback effort in the Hero World Challenge at the start of last month – a second-round 65 lit the flame inside romantics who are desperate to see a second coming for Tiger – but it must not be forgotten that he finished 15th of 18 runners. And one of those – Justin Rose – withdrew after round one.
Only history is keeping Woods prominent in the Farmers betting. He has won eight times at Torrey Pines – nine if you include his Junior World Championship victory – so bookmakers are showing a legend some respect. Hard-nosed punters will choose not to bother.
Woods is the world number 663, he has not competed in a full field event for more than 17 months, and he is tackling a course this week which shows no mercy to anyone who tees up without their
A-game. His history of success on the North Course counts for less, given it has just been redesigned.
Woods to miss the cut looks a terrific investment at 11-8. No one in this top-class field can be carrying more rust. His South Course credentials are worth precious little if his game is not ready for elite competition and his two playing partners and the vast majority of the field have some 2017 action under their belts.
Woods can also be opposed in 72-hole matches. JB Holmes has consistently churned out excellent results over the last two years, a golden spell which started with a playoff defeat at Torrey Pines, yet he can be backed as an even-money outsider against Woods with bet365. Holmes was fourth in the Masters last year and third in the Open.
T Woods to miss cut
3pts 11-8 Betfair, Power
JB Holmes to beat T Woods
2pts Evens bet365