Tiger Woods will be starting his season in San Diego this week.
Woods has officially entered the Farmers Insurance Open, which has become the traditional start of his season since 2006. He has won the last five times he played Torrey Pines, including the 2008 U.S. Open in a playoff over Rocco Mediate.
He has not played the PGA Tour stop at Torrey Pines the last two years, missing in 2009 while recovering from knee surgery and last year while dealing with personal problems related to his extramarital affairs.
Woods hasn’t won since the Australian Masters in November 2009. However, he sounded optimistic in remarks made on his Twitter feed.
He said on Twitter: “I’ve been working hard on my game, it’s game time hooah!!”
Woods will arrive at Torrey Pines ranked third in the world, though, as he dropped out of the No. 2 spot Sunday when Martin Kaymer won in Abu Dhabi and overtook him. Lee Westwood, who took over the No. 1 spot in late October, remains there.
“We’ll see how long it takes him to overtake me again,” Kaymer said Sunday.
Master champion Phil Mickelson dropped to a No. 5 ranking. He had been sharing fourth with U.S. Open champ Graeme McDowell, who tied for third in Abu Dhabi.
Mickelson finished 37th Sunday. He says he doesn’t dwell on the rankings and is concentrating on the upcoming majors.
Westwood, meanehile, is planning to skip golf's richest event this year because of PGA Tour restrictions put on him.
The world No. 1 is not a member of the circuit in America, preferring to devote more time to his family, and is therefore leaving the Players Championship in Florida in May off his schedule.
As a non-member, Westwood is allowed only three regular tournament appearances outside the majors and World Championship events, and he has decided Sawgrass simply doesn’t fit in with his plans. Rory McIlroy has already said he might miss it too after deciding to end his PGA Tour membership this season.
"There is a five-week gap between the Masters and the Volvo World Match Play in Spain (on May 19-22, one week after the Players) and I want to play a couple of events in there," said Westwood. "I've said I will support the European Tour, so I am going to Asia."
The English golfer's other starts in America will be the Honda Classic in Florida in March, because it is the week between two World Championships there, the Shell Houston Open to warm up for the following week's Masters, and his defense of the title in Memphis the week before the U.S. Open in June.
"It's something I can't control," Westwood added.