Tiger to make 2019 PGA debut alongside Finau, Schauffele

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Former world number one Tiger Woods will make his 2019 Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) debut tomorrow at the Farmers Insurance Open alongside fellow Americans Tony Finau and Xander Schauffele, according to groupings released on Monday.

Woods, a 14-time major winner playing his first event since turning 43 last month, returns to the Torrey Pines course where he won this event seven times and captured his most recent major victory at the 2008 United States (US) Open.

Full pairings will not be revealed yet for the 156-player field but featured groups for the first and second rounds were revealed on Monday and they include the first official tour rounds with Woods for Finau and Schauffele.

It will be a perfect opportunity for 13th-ranked Woods, captain of this year’s US team for the Presidents Cup, to analyse potential talent for the American squad, with Schauffele second in points and Finau sixth.

This year’s Presidents Cup will be played in December at Royal Melbourne in Australia.

American golfer Tiger Woods plays a tee shot during his foursomes match on the second day of the 42nd Ryder Cup at Le Golf National Course at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, south-west of Paris on September 29, 2018. – AFP

Sixth-ranked Schauffele has won twice already in the 2018-2019 season, capturing the WGC HSBC Champions in November last year at Shanghai and the PGA Tournament of Champions early this month in Hawaii, where he fired a final-round 11-under par 62.

Finau, ranked 10th, lost a playoff to Schauffele for the title in China.

Another feature grouping for the first two rounds includes Australians Jason Day and Adam Scott and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy.

Scott, the 2013 Masters champion, and eight-ranked McIlroy, a four-time major winner, are each playing the event for the first time while 12th-ranked Day is the defending champion and seeks his third crown in five seasons. Top-ranked Justin Rose of Britain will be joined by Americans Jordan Spieth and Billy Horschel in another group while Spain’s seventh-ranked Jon Rahm, whose first US PGA win came at Torrey Pines in 2017, tees off alongside Americans Rickie Fowler and Brandt Snedeker in the first two rounds.