Tiger Woods announced on Twitter Friday morning that he will be teeing it up in the Players Championship, May 7-10 at TPC Sawgrass:
Looking forward to going back to THE PLAYERS this year, hoping for a repeat of 2013.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 24, 2015
This will be the second start for Woods since returning from a leave of absence because of poor play in February. He tied for 17th at the Masters in his first start back.
Woods is a two-time winner in the Players Championship, having won most recently in 2013. He also won the 1994 U.S. Amateur at TPC Sawgrass.
One of the most memorable shots of Woods's illustrious career came via a putt on the par-3 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass on his way to winning the 2001 Players -- the "better than most" putt:
Due to recovery from back surgery, Woods was unable to defend his Players Championship title in 2014.
The PGA Tour is in the Big Easy this week for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, where Korea's Seung-Yul Noh returns as the defending champion.
The field features seven former champions, eight major champions and 70 PGA Tour champions who account for a total of 213 wins.
Here's a look at five players you'll want to keep an eye on this week.
5. Billy Horschel
Best finish in 2014-15 season: Third at Valero Texas Open
Reason to watch: The first of Horschel's three career PGA Tour wins came right here at the Zurich Classic. That was back in 2013. In late 2014, he snagged wins two and three in consecutive starts at the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship on his way to winning the FedExCup. Since his unlikely FedExCup win -- he wasn't at his best for most of last season before turning it on late -- Horschel has been so-so. He's made the cut in 10 of 14 starts, but can't seem to get any consistency going from start to start. I think he's been looking forward to this week for a couple of reasons -- first, as noted, it's the site of his maiden win. But secondly, he missed the cut in his title defense a year ago. That had to sting a little. I think he'll make up for it this week.
4. Justin Thomas
Best finish in 2014-15 season: T4 at Sanderson Farms Championship
Reason to watch: I think Thomas is on the verge of breaking through in a big way on the PGA Tour. A good buddy of Jordan Spieth, the 21-year-old Thomas earned his way on to the PGA Tour after finishing third in the 2014 Web.com Tour Finals. He also picked up a win on the Web.com Tour back in September at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship. So far this season, Thomas has four top-10 finishes. He's knocked on the door a few times, but hasn't gotten the job done just yet. The New Orleans stop has been kind to first-time PGA Tour winners, so maybe that will pan out for Thomas this week.
3. Seung-Yul Noh
Best finish in 2014-15 season: T11 at Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Reason to watch: Following a solid 2013-14 season, which included a victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Noh has been quiet for most of this season. He's made the cut in just seven of his 12 starts and has yet to record a top-10 finish. Noh, the PGA Tour's youngest winner in 2014, also boasts victories on the Web.com, European, and Asian Tours. He's an incredibly talented young player that just needs to find consistency in his game. In need of a good, solid finish to jumpstart this slow season, New Orleans will be a refreshing place to play for Noh.
2. Dustin Johnson
Best finish in 2014-15 season: Won the WGC-Cadillac Championship
Reason to watch: For just the second time in his career, Johnson is teeing it up this week in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. This season, Johnson has been an absolute beast with a remarkable five, top-10 finishes in just seven starts, including a victory at Doral and his most recent top-10 -- a T6 -- at the Masters. Johnson is a threat to win every time he tees it up. This week should be no different.
1. Justin Rose
Best finish in 2014-15 season: T2 at the Masters
Reason to watch: As we've seen year after year, the cream rises to the top in the biggest tournaments. That's the only way to explain a scenario like Rose's. It had been a pretty disappointing season -- three missed cuts in seven starts -- until his runner-up showing at Augusta National. Rose's three missed cuts so far this year are his most in a season on the PGA Tour since missing the cut five times in 2011. The performance at the Masters was just what Rose needed to get things going in the right direction. Riding the confidence from a well-played Masters, Rose heads to New Orleans to play an event in which he hasn't finished outside the top 15 in each of the last three seasons. In other words... It's a great place to keep the momentum rolling.
Here's how my five to watch fared last week at the RBC Heritage:
5. Boo Weekley -- T75
4. Jim Furyk -- Winner
3. Zach Johnson -- Missed cut
2. Matt Kuchar -- Fifth
1. Jordan Spieth -- T11
PGA of America Championships
Benton Harbor, Mich.
Sahalee Country Club
Baltusrol Golf Club
Hazeltine National Golf Club