Posted on 09 February 2012 by Rachel
While celebrities such as actor Bill Murray and musician Kenny G will command a lot of attention at this week’s Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, the golfing spotlight will focus mainly on former world No. 1 Tiger Woods.
Champion here in 2000, Woods is excited to be back at the event for the first time in a decade as he also marks his debut appearance on the 2012 PGA Tour.
“I’m looking forward to it,” the 36-year-old American told reporters while preparing for Thursday’s opening round in the pro-am celebrity event held on the picturesque Monterey Peninsula.
“I just haven’t played [here] in a while, and it’s been [because of] scheduling. This time it fits perfectly in my schedule so I’m excited to be back.”
Woods may not have won on the U.S. circuit since the 2009 BMW Championship but, based on his form over the last two months, he could well triumph Sunday.
In his last three stroke-play events, he finished third at the Australian Open in November, won the limited-field Chevron World Challenge which he hosts in December and tied for third at last month’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
After two years of battling for form while being plagued with injury problems and the breakdown of his marriage, the most significant change for Woods has been his return to full health.
“Rehabbing and training are two totally different scenarios. I’ve been rehabbing pretty much the entire last couple of years, and I haven’t been able to train. I haven’t been healthy enough,” the 14-time major champion said.
“There was always some kind of limited ball count, or I’ve got to get back to treatment, I’ve got to do icing … and all of those monotonous things just to tee it up. That’s no longer the case.
“I appreciate being healthy more,” added Woods, who won the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach by a record 15 shots. “My body’s feeling explosive again, and consequently I’m hitting the ball further.”
Asked whether he felt any pressure to end a title drought of more than two years on the PGA Tour, Woods replied: “Not really. I feel very at peace where I’m at. I had to make some changes and that took time, and I’m starting to see the results of that now, which is great.”
While Woods competes in this week’s pro-am in partnership with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, fellow American D.A. Points will defend his title by reuniting with U.S. actor and comedian Murray.
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