Tiger: Riviera a 'whole new game'

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This is a whole new game.

With both Beau Hossler and Kevin Streelman sitting at a price of $8,800, rounding out a roster with two players who have combined to make 18 of 19 cuts this season certainly seems like a solid plan. There's also a history of golfers winning this event multiple times within one another. Going for the green isn't necessarily easier, with only a small flat area to land and many shots funneling to a collection area left of the green.

So what should we expect from Tiger this week?

It has been five years since he claimed any silverware but Woods understands the concept of incremental gains and is in no hurry.

"I've got three tournaments in a row where I'm defending the title", he noted.

Woods added that he would love to compete for the United States Ryder Cup team as a vice captain in September, but acknowledged he has a long way to go with his game before that can be considered a potential reality. This will be just his 16th PGA TOUR start since the end of the 2010 season. "It is so much fun to play and I'm really looking forward to playing this year".

Defending champion Dustin Johnson is the favourite with Neds, paying $6 to repeat his victory from 2017 that sent him to the top of the world rankings for the first time.

At 7,322 yards for its Par 71, Riviera features just three Par 5s, so the players will have to compile the bulk of their winning score across the eleven Par 4s. He is also coming off a sixth-place finish at Pebble Beach. DJ has also finished second in this event in 2014 and 2015.

Woods, who made the cut last month at Torrey Pines in his only competitive start since returning from injury, has until after his second round on Friday to commit to the February 22-25 Honda Classic, which will be played near his Florida home.

Lee was successful in a second consecutive Monday qualifier as he tries to work his way back to the PGA TOUR.

Justin Thomas: He is coming off an awesome 2017 season. Spieth has some good memories at Riviera.

McIlroy and his father Gerry played with Woods at Thanksgiving in November and the four-time Major victor from Holywood was so impressed he predicted, "This is a different Tiger".

Rory McIlroy was a poor pick on my behalf last week as Pebble is a very hard event if you're new to it. Has only played here once in 2016, ending T20.

His colleagues certainly remember that Johnson was playing the best golf of his career - with those three wins at the Genesis and the two WGC tilts (the Mexico Championship and Match Play) - before hurting his back and having to withdraw from last year's Masters.

Alex Noren: Followed up his play-off defeat to Jason Day with a T21 last week. Dou was the first Chinese-born player to win on the Web.com Tour, as well.

Thomas Pieters won the NCAA 2012 Division I Men's Golf Championship at Riviera.

This will be the 54 year Riviera has been the venue for this tournament. His old yardage books may be out the window, but despite TW saying he could never play well here, he hasn't finished worse than T20 at Riviera since 1997.