Tiger Woods made his first cut since The Masters in April despite leaving plenty of shots on the greens during his second round at the Genesis Invitational on Friday.

Woods, who closed his opening round Thursday with three consecutive birdies, finished in a more disappointing fashion his second time around Riviera Country Club with three bogeys from his final four holes.

He ended up with two birdies and five bogeys for a three-over 74, leaving him at one over for the tournament – landing right on the weekend side of the cut line.

Reflecting on his round, Woods' focus was all on his putter, pointing out that he played far better than his score indicates.

"I did not putt well today, I blocked a lot of putts early and this is probably the highest score I could have shot today," he said. "Probably should have shot probably five or six better than this easily. 

"I just didn't make the putts early and the middle part of the round when I had those opportunities – and they weren't very hard putts – I just hit bad putts and obviously had a very bad finish, too.

"I just blocked them, they were just bad putts. They were not very hard, good reads. I brought Joey [caddie Joe LaCava] in on a couple of them and I just hit bad putts. 

"So I could have easily got off to a very hot start and I did not, and then in the middle part of the round I could have turned it around a little bit and I did not."

This was Woods' non-major PGA Tour start since October 2020, and he sits 11 shots off leader Max Homa.


Pep Guardiola wants Manchester City to emulate the great Tiger Woods by never giving up in their title tussle with Arsenal.

City beat the Gunners 3-1 in a thrilling encounter at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday to move top of the Premier League.

The defending champions have played a game more than Arsenal and are only top on goal difference, however, with Guardiola convinced his team have had some good fortune.

Yet he pointed to golf legend and 15-time major champion Woods – who returned to the PGA Tour this week for the first time since suffering serious leg injuries in a car crash in 2021 – as a source of inspiration.

"Right now, we could be 10 or 12 points behind. We are a bit lucky," he told reporters ahead of Saturday's trip to Nottingham Forest. 

"If [Arsenal] won at Everton when they played to win, we lost at Spurs, we lost to Arsenal then we are 10 points behind and the game is over.

"Now we could be 10-12 points behind even [with Arsenal having played] one game less. We're top of the league after two nights when they have been top all season.

"You never, ever, ever can give up. The biggest athletes never do. This weekend is the best weekend because Tiger is back. He's playing at the Genesis Invitational.

"We have to learn from the greatest and he never gives up. He is two over, one over, then finishes the last round with birdie, birdie, birdie. Never give up, continue until the end."

Guardiola said in the wake of City's win in north London that his first-half tactics had been "horrible".

Bernardo Silva was deployed as a left-back until Manuel Akanji replaced Riyad Mahrez early in the second half,  enabling the Portugal international to switch to the right wing.

City, who took the lead through Kevin De Bruyne but were pegged back by Bukayo Saka's penalty, went on to clinch the points through Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland.

"I meant in general how I imagined the game, it didn't work, not because Bernardo played left-back," said Guardiola, explaining his post-match comments.

"If it works I am brave, if it doesn't work I am overthinking. Arrogant. 'What is Pep believing, changing tactics? Why don't you play Kevin De Bruyne all the time? Why don't you play the other ones?'

"Because Kevin De Bruyne cannot play all the games. He needs to be fresh here [in the head]. He has to get the message, he can do better.

"I cannot go to sleep or wake up in the morning, have something inside of me visualising what the opponent can do and think: 'The normal thing is play the starting XI that people around the world say is the best.'

"In 14 years, starting with the second team Barcelona, I never took a decision like: 'I am going [to show off].'"

Haaland's neat finish brought up his 26th league goal of the season, though City's use of their star striker had been called into question after the 1-0 loss at Spurs.

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher went as far as to say Haaland "might have picked the wrong club to actually get the best out of him".

Asked about Carragher's comments, Guardiola said: "I understand it. What can I say – I'm open to all opinions. So [Jamie] will have his argument.

"It's important I have the feeling that [Haaland] feels so happy here. Committed. Not because he already scored 26 goals, but it was a surprise for all of us, a real surprise.

"We didn't know him. We knew his stats, his numbers, his laughs when he played at Dortmund, but we are all of us really surprised at how he is as a boy – because he's a boy."

Guardiola is also hopeful Ilkay Gundogan will sign a new contract at City, with his deal set to expire at the end of the season.

Tiger Woods was accused of a "stupid" and misogynistic prank at the Genesis Invitational after handing Justin Thomas a tampon during his opening round.

Woods passed the sanitary product to his friend after outdriving Thomas from the ninth tee, with the 15-time major winner facing criticism on his return to the PGA Tour.

This is not only 47-year-old Woods' comeback event, having not played competitively since last year's Open Championship, but he is also the tournament host.

USA Today writer Christine Brennan wrote of the bizarre incident: "Woods' message to Thomas was obvious. It has been the go-to line of silly, often insecure boys for generations: You play like a girl. Really, Tiger?"

Brennan said Thursday's episode was "basic misogyny" and "a knee-slapper of a dig against female athletes".

Julie DiCaro, author of the book 'Sidelined: Sports, Culture, and Being a Woman in America', also condemned Woods.

She wrote on Twitter: "Ugh. All the guys think this is hilarious, but the joke is denigrating women. So played out and stupid."

Golf writer Shane Ryan, author of Ryder Cup book 'The Cup They Couldn't Lose', said Woods had reached a "new low" with his antics.

Ryan wrote: "Tiger Woods' humour has always been slightly lame, dumb-jock type of stuff, but becoming a prop comic? That's a new low."

Other views were available, and former professional golfer turned social media personality Paige Spiranac defended Woods, writing: "If anyone tries to cancel Tiger over this we riot. It's funny.

"I need a LIV vs PGA tour Ryder cup type event just so Tiger can give Phil [Mickelson] a tampon after out driving him."

Woods finished his first round with three consecutive birdies to score a two-under-par 70 . He dropped back to level par after bogeying two of his opening four holes on Friday, after starting his second round on the back nine, before making birdie at his fifth to repair some of the early damage.

Tiger Woods was battling a combination of overflowing adrenaline and rust as he made his return to the course for Thursday's opening round of the Genesis Invitational.

Woods birdied his first hole, but struggled with some makeable putts soon after, dropping to one over by the time he reached the 15th hole.

From that point on it was like the Tiger of old, collecting a two on the par-three 16th, drilling a long birdie putt on the par-five 17th, and placing a beautiful approach on the 18th to set-up his third birdie in a row to finish.

Reflecting on his performance afterwards, Woods said he felt the pressure to sink the final birdie.

"I didn't want to be the idiot host to miss it right in front of everybody after I just went birdie-birdie," he said with a smile. "It was a great round."

Playing alongside two-time major champion Justin Thomas and renowned long-driver Rory McIlroy, Woods said he even surprised himself as he out-drove his partners on a few occasions.

"There's nothing like come game time, just the feeling of the butterflies and trying to calm all that stuff down," he said. "Even though it's cold out here, [the ball] was going even further than we expected. I had to dial all that back in.

"I was trying to calm myself down all day, trying to figure out what the hell I'm doing out here, because I haven't played."

The 15-time major champion gave some insight into his ever-changing physical condition, saying he never knows what to expect out of his damaged ankle.

"My ankle's a lot smaller than it has been," he said. "I've had so many surgeries that the ankle just keeps changing, the leg keeps changing, yes, the shoes keep changing, the socks keep changing. 

"Everything's a moving target. How much I'm on my feet, how much I'm not, how active I am, how not active, the muscles that are on, they're off. It's a moving target all the time."

While the high quality of play was a joy to behold, so was the camaraderie between the featured group, and Woods said that is something he has missed.

"The ebb and flow of needling each other, encouraging each other and telling stories," he said. "I hadn't been out here, so I've missed some of the things that have transpired on tour, which is kind of fun."

It was fun for McIlroy as well, who finished the day tied for seventh at four under, although he admitted he did not enjoy seeing Woods' drives travel past his.

"I'm going to work on the range," McIlroy said. "I don't like him hitting it by me."

Max Homa and Keith Mitchell are tied for the lead after Thursday at the Genesis Invitational, but all eyes were on Tiger Woods as he finished his opening round with three consecutive birdies.

In his first non-major PGA Tour start since October 2020, Woods displayed impressive physical capabilities, often out-driving his playing partners Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas.

The 15-time major champion birdied his first hole – to a raucous ovation – but he had three bogeys and one birdie over his next 11, reaching the 15th at one over.

He proceeded to electrify the audience with a birdie after a beautiful approach on the par-three 16th, before following it with a long-range birdie putt on the par-five 17th, and another picture-perfect approach on the last set him up for his third birdie in a row to finish at two under.

Playing partners McIlroy (four under) and Thomas (three under) both also birdied the 18th in a thrilling finale for the featured group.

Homa and Mitchell were the only players to shoot seven-under 64s during their first trip around Riviera Country Club, while the red-hot Jon Rahm is alone in third at six under.

Collin Morikawa is part of the three-man group at five under, McIlroy headlines the group at four under, and Thomas is joined by Patrick Cantlay and Rickie Fowler at three under.

There is a loaded group with Woods at two under, including Viktor Hovland, Will Zalatoris, Xander Schauffele and Im Sung-jae.

Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy believes the PGA Tour needs to take a leaf out of the NBA's book and build itself around star athletes.

The 33-year-old Northern Irishman, who has fiercely defended the PGA Tour amid the rise of LIV Golf, said the organisation could look at other professional sports leagues as models to rebuild itself for growth.

The PGA Tour is weighing up format changes like making at least some of the designated events limited-field, no-cut tournaments.

Tiger Woods spoke about the challenges of the PGA Tour's direction on Tuesday ahead of this week's Genesis Invitational in California, with McIlroy weighing in on Wednesday.

"If you look at the NBA's trajectory over the last 20 years, they've built that league around their best players and their stars, not around the 12th guy on the team," McIlroy told reporters.

"But because they've built that league up around the stars, the 12th guy on the team does way better than he used to, so that's sort of the way I've been trying to tell it."

McIlroy insisted that any PGA Tour changes would not "screw" the lower-ranked, bottom-half players who he sensed had concern around format adjustments that could squeeze them out of tournament fields.

"I've had tons of conversations with guys that are worried about what events they're going to play next year and all that," McIlroy said.

"The one thing I said, look, no one's trying to screw the bottom half of the tour here. If anything, we're trying to lift it up.

"The best players should be playing in them because ultimately the PGA Tour needs to be built around the best players because that's what will maximise the value of the product.

"But that doesn't mean that there's not great storylines further down that list, which we're all very cognisant of."

McIlroy can regain his number one ranking at the Genesis Invitational but laughed that status has been passed around "like a hot potato" in recent times, with last week's Phoenix Open winner Scottie Scheffler re-claiming it.

"Yeah, of course I care about it," McIlroy said. "I think it's a really cool thing to be ranked number one in whatever you do, but I think it just goes to show the level of depth and the level of talent that's out here.

"I literally have one average week, it wasn't even a bad week, just an average week, and there's always someone waiting to overtake you or to come and try to take that mantle from you. I think it's a great thing for the game.

"I've got a chance to get it back this week. You know, hopefully it's a bit of a sort of hot potato thing where me, Scottie and Jon [Rahm] sort of pass it around a little bit because it means we're all playing great golf."

Tiger Woods says the past 12 months have been a "very turbulent" period for golf following the launch of the LIV Golf series that has threatened the game's status quo.

The 15-time major champion will make his comeback at the Genesis Invitational on Thursday where he will tee off with Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas.

Woods, 47, will be making his first non-major PGA Tour appearance since the Zozo Championship in October 2020, having spent a lengthy time out after the car accident in February 2021 that left him with multiple significant leg injuries.

In the meantime, LIV Golf launched in June last year, with numerous high-profile players defecting from the PGA Tour, creating a divide and fractures within the sport.

"The past year since, if you go back to this week at Genesis last year to where it's at now, we all have to say it's been very turbulent," Woods said. "We never would have expected the game of golf to be in this situation, but it is, that's the reality.

"I was alluding to trying to create the best product. Obviously, they're a competitive organization trying to create their best product they possibly can, and we're trying to create the best product that we think for the future of golf, how it should be played.

"How do we do that? We're still working on it. We have so many top players that are aligned. We need to have our top players understand that we need to play around the world and create the best product possible.

"It's been an ebb and flow, it really has. And it's been difficult, there's no lie. You've seen our ambassador, Rory, go through it. It's been tough on him, but he's been exceptional.

"To be able to go through all that, I've been with him on all those conference calls and side meetings, and for him to go out there and play and win, it's been incredible."

The PGA Tour has been threatened by LIV Golf, which used eight 54-hole no-cut stroke play tournaments and a final Team Championship in its inaugural season to create a new and exciting product with a point of difference.

LIV Golf will evolve into a league format for the next season with a 14-event schedule and 48 contracted players.

Woods, whose foundation organizes the upcoming Genesis Invitational at the Riviera Country Club in California, said the PGA Tour is working on ways to maintain its position as golf's leading series to rival LIV Golf's updated offerings.

"We are in the process of figuring all that out," Woods said. "It's been a variety of different models and opinions. Trying to figure out what's the best product and competitive environment. What we should do going forward.

"Limited fields, what's the number? Cuts, yes or no? What's the number? How many players are playing the event? What's the ability to get into the designated events? How is [PGA Tour commissioner] Jay [Monahan] able to sell our product to the different sponsors across the board?

"There's so much give and take. It's still ongoing. It's been difficult. A lot of the players have been very forthright, which is great. We're trying to help our commissioner create what he can sell so all of us can benefit."

Tiger Woods insists he is only returning to the PGA Tour this week because he believes in his ability to win again.

The 47-year-old has entered his first non-major event on the tour since playing the Zozo Championship in October 2020, and he continues to feel the effects of his February 2021 car crash.

He was left with a severely broken leg among a host of injuries, and the 15-time major winner accepts the end of his career is probably not far away.

It is ankle pain that gives Woods the most concern at present, as he prepares to compete in the Genesis Invitational tournament run by his foundation at the Riviera Country Club in California.

But he is optimistic about his ability to hit good golf shots and get around the course without needing a buggy.

"I would not have put myself out here if I didn't think I could beat these guys and win the event. That's my mentality. I'm very rusty but I've come off rusty situations before and done well," Woods said.

After needing a long recuperation from the severe injuries to his right leg, Woods said the limb is "better than it was last year".

In his efforts to put himself through strenuous exercise to build up resilience, Woods said he "may have overdone it a couple of times, but here I am".

"I'm there to get a W, OK?" he said in a pre-tournament press conference.

"I don't understand that making the cut is a great thing. If I entered the event, it's always to get a W.

"There will come a point in time when my body will not allow me to do that anymore, and it's probably sooner than later. But wrapping my head around that transition and being the ambassador role and just trying to be out here with the guys, no, that's not in my DNA."

Woods last played competitively at The Open at St Andrews last July, missing the cut.

He hopes to play the Masters in April, and this can reasonably be considered a test of his fitness with Augusta in mind.

The American great will be in familiar company when he tees off in the opening two rounds, having been included in a group of three with close friends Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy.

Woods shares the record for wins at PGA Tour level with the late Sam Snead, triumphing at the 2019 Zozo Championship to reach his current total of 82 career victories.

Scottie Scheffler reclaimed the world number one ranking after successfully defending his Waste Management Phoenix Open title with a two-stroke victory on Sunday.

Scheffler – after posting rounds of 68, 64 and 68 – closed in style with a six-under 65 to finish at 19-under overall.

He went bogey-free in his final round with four birdies and an eagle, showing his affinity for the TPC Scottsdale course after winning his first PGA Tour event at this tournament last season.

Scheffler's lead was down to only one stroke heading into the famous 16th hole, and while he could only muster a par, that proved to be enough as second-placed Nick Taylor made bogey, and Scheffler extended the lead to three strokes for a comfortable finish with a birdie on 17.

Speaking to CBS after stepping off the final green, Scheffler said he was proud of the way he battled through some average shots.

"I'm just proud of how I fought today," he said. "I didn't have my best stuff, so I grinded it out today. I wasn't hitting it good off the tee, my irons didn't feel sharp, but I played a great round of golf today."

Taylor birdied the 18th to finish alone in second at 17 under for his best result since winning the 2020 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

The red-hot Jon Rahm ended up in sole possession of third at 14 under, fellow major champion Justin Thomas finished fourth at 13 under, and former world number one Jason Day continued his return to relevance with a fifth-place result at 12 under.

The highlight of the day came from Rickie Fowler, punctuating his T10 finish with an ace on the par-three seventh hole.

Jon Rahm and Adam Hadwin provided the highlight of the third round at the Phoenix Open, where Scottie Scheffler kept hold of the lead.

World number one Scheffler carded a 68 on Saturday to maintain the two-stroke lead he held after the opening two days.

A bogey on the 13th threatened to set Scheffler back, but he recovered with a birdie on the next hole and then another on the 17th.

Yet the highlight came from Rahm and Hadwin on the Stadium Course's famous 16th hole.

With the vociferous crowd having been deprived of much excitement up until then, Hadwin – who endured a frustrating round, dropping three bogeys – planting his tee shot close to the pin, setting up a simple putt for birdie.

If that shot had the spectators on their feet, then Rahm's exceptional putt had them positively in delirium soon after, as the world number three sunk an excellent effort to on his way to a three-under 68.

Rahm moved up to T2 alongside Nick Taylor, who found timely birdies on the last two holes to head back into the clubhouse on 11 under after three rounds.

Jordan Spieth, who went round in 63 on day two, carded 69 but dropped a place to T4 along with Hadwin, with Im Sung-jae, Tyrrell Hatton, Rickie Fowler and Jason Day moving up to joint-sixth. Xander Schauffele had a disappointing round, though, and dropped three places.

It was a similar story for world number one Rory McIlroy, who bogeyed on the fourth, seventh and 17th, as well as double-bogeying the 14th. His round of 70 leaves him on three under for the week, 10 behind Scheffler.

Sam Burns was the big mover of the day as he leapt up 28 places thanks to a stunning 64, matching Scheffler's effort from Friday.

Burns struck five birdies and eagled the 13th, and is part of a five-strong group tied for 11th at eight under.

Scottie Scheffler won his first PGA Tour title 12 months ago at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and he is looking to defend that crown as he heads into the weekend with a two stroke lead at 10 under.

A large chunk of the field still have between five and eight holes remaining before they complete their second round, with a delay on Thursday creating a backlog as players had to finish their first round early Friday morning.

Scheffler was part of the early group and followed his opening 68 with a seven-under 64, and he was the only player to shoot seven under on his second trip around TPC Scottsdale.

It is shaping up as a tantalising battle at the top of the leaderboard after Jon Rahm's 66 clawed his way into a tie for second at eight under, where he is joined by round-one leader Adam Hadwin, who still has eight holes to play.

Im Sung-jae will have his sights set on posting the best second-round score, with time being called while he was six under through 12 holes, and tied for fourth with Wyndham Clark at seven under overall.

The only other player with a second-round score of six under or better was Venezuela's Jhonattan Vegas, rebounding strongly from an even-par opener, and he has four holes remaining to try and match Scheffler's heroics. 

Also in a tie for sixth with Vegas are former world number one Jason Day and current world number six Xander Schauffele, while the dangerous duo of Tom Kim and Jordan Spieth are one further back at five under.

Major champions Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy are still in the hunt at three under, Viktor Hovland is at two under, and Hideki Matsuyama is at one under with five holes to play.

Tiger Woods is set to make his return to competitive golf at next week's Genesis Invitational, in what will represent his first non-major outing on the PGA Tour for over two years.

Woods has not played competitively since missing the cut at The Open at St Andrews last July, having struggled since he suffered serious leg injuries in a car crash in early 2021.

The 15-time major winner partnered Rory McIlroy in The Match in December, but he was unwilling to commit to playing regularly this year ahead of an outing alongside son Charlie at the PNC Championship that same month.

However, Woods announced on Friday that he had committed to the Genesis Invitational, the event run by his foundation at the Riviera Country Club in California.

"I'm ready to play an ACTUAL PGA Tour event next week @thegenesisinv," Woods tweeted.

The PGA Tour's communications account followed that message by saying: "Eighty-two-time PGA Tour winner Tiger Woods is committed to next week's Genesis Invitational.

"Thursday's first round will be Woods' first round in a non-major on the PGA Tour since the final round of the 2020 ZOZO Championship on October 25, 2020 (844 days ago)."

Woods has repeatedly said he will attempt to play a limited schedule including the major championships, with the injuries he suffered in 2021 requiring multiple surgeries and continuing to hamper his ability to walk.

Half the field still need to complete their opening round, but Nick Taylor and Adam Hadwin raced around with the early group to take a share of the lead into Friday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Taylor had a rollercoaster of a round, posting a one-over front-nine after an eagle, a double-bogey and a bogey, before flying home with six birdies on the back-nine to finish at five under.

He is joined by Canadian compatriot Hadwin as the only players to finish rounds of 66, but there is a strong chasing pack who were unable to finish that will look to snatch the round-one lead on Friday morning.

World number six Xander Schauffele is one stroke off the lead at four under, although he has finished his round, while joining him in a tie for third are former world number one Jason Day (through 10) and American Jim Herman (through 13).

The red-hot Jon Rahm will have his sights on the top, sitting at three under with five holes to play, as will both Max Homa and Keegan Bradley who are also at three under with six holes to play.

Major champion Matt Fitzpatrick is joined by Tony Finau, Sam Burns and Im Sung-jae in the group who completed one-under rounds, while Jordan Spieth posted an even-par 71.

Justin Thomas (one over through 12) will have a chance to still finish his first round under par, while Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay and Cameron Young will all be trying to fight their way back into contention after finishing two over.

Justin Rose was relieved to secure his place at The Masters after victory at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am helped him end a four-year wait for a trophy.

The Englishman carded a final round of 66 to secure an 18-under triumph by three strokes, earning his 11th overall victory on the PGA Tour.

Having last won a prize at the Farmers Insurance Open in January 2019, his success in California helped both end a drought and secure a spot at Augusta.

Ensuring his card to The Masters and May's PGA Championship had been imperative in Rose's mind, but he acknowledged it was sweeter to earn it with silverware.

"Augusta has definitely been a big part of being on my mind," he said. "I thought the simple way to approach it was [to] try to play my way into the top 50 in the world.

"My intention was to come out and play solid and earn some points and claw my way up the World Rankings and make it that way.

"This is a better way to make it, by winning a tournament. It's funny how you, by winning, earn the points and everything takes care of itself.

"[It is] a big relief from that point of view to be able to plan a little bit more of the run into Augusta now. To have the luxury now is unbelievable."

Rose is also in contention to return to the Ryder Cup fold, having missed the cut for selection in 2021, though he stresses he is not even entertaining thoughts of it yet.

"The way where I've been with my game, I've had to be quite selfish and just focus on me and focus on my improvement and what I need to do to start playing better golf," he added.

"I haven't even entertained what the Ryder Cup looks like for me, other than I want to be there. Obviously I would love to play my way onto the team."

Justin Rose ended a four-year PGA Tour title drought with a three-shot victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Monday.

Rose led by two strokes when play was suspended due to darkness at Monterey Peninsula Country Club on Sunday.

The Englishman returned to end a run of 67 PGA Tour events without being crowned champion, carding a six-under 66 to finish on 18 under.

Rose resumed at the 10th hole, securing a par before picking up three birdies through the next four holes to keep his rival at bay.

The 2013 U.S. Open champion added another three pars to finish his round and finally get that winning feeling on the PGA Tour once again.

His previous PGA Tour triumph came at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in January 2019.

Brendon Todd and Brandon Wu shared second place on 15 under after signing for final rounds of 65 and 66 respectively. 

Denny McCarthy and Keith Mitchell were a further shot back on a memorable Monday for Rose.

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