Tiger Woods hopes a solid performance at the WGC-Mexico Championship can help him reach the Masters firing on all cylinders.
After years of injury struggles, Woods re-established himself as a contender last season and recorded top-10 finishes at the Open and US PGA Championship.
Victory at the Tour Championship in September ended a five-year wait for an 80th PGA Tour win and helped earn him a place on the United States’ Ryder Cup team.
Woods has only played two events so far in 2019 but he heads into his third at the WGC-Mexico Championship confident he is in a better position to challenge at the top of the leaderboard – both in Naucalpan and at Augusta.
“Last year was different, and in previous years it [his ability to compete] was non-existent,” Woods told a media conference.
“This year to be able to ramp up a schedule and to be able to know what I can and can’t do going into [The Masters] is a lot more comforting than this has been in previous years because it’s been kind of an unknown going into that event.”
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 20, 2019
After this week in Mexico, Woods has six weeks before returning to Augusta and he is determined not to flood his schedule prior to the year’s first major.
“From here on out, it’s very complicated,” Woods added. “Next week’s at home for me, then there’s a tournament that I’ve won eight times [the Arnold Palmer Invitational], then another event [the Players Championship] I’ve won a couple of times. Then the week after this is where I had an unbelievable week last year [the Valspar Championship].
“So, it gets very complicated. That’s what I’m trying to figure out; how much to play, how much is too much, how much is not enough, and at the end of the day being race-ready enough for April and making sure I get enough competitive rounds.
“That’s one of the reasons I put in [Valspar] last year after I missed the cut in L.A., to make sure I got some rounds in and be race-ready.
“This year’s even more complicated. I feel better, but I’ve got four events right there in my state that I live in and it gets very complicated.”