Woods to play 2017 PGA Tour event at Riviera (Reuters)

(Reuters) – Tiger Woods, who has not competed on the PGA Tour since August 2015, will return to the U.S. circuit at next year’s Genesis Open in Pacific Palisades, California, the former world number one announced on Tuesday.

Woods, who competed earlier this month at the limited-field Hero World Challenge after a lengthy absence caused by chronic back problems, is a native of California and will be teeing it up in the event that marked his PGA Tour debut in 1992.

The Genesis Open, which will be played at Riviera Country Club from Feb. 13-19, benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation.

“I’m very excited to come back to Riviera and compete in the Genesis Open,” Woods, a 14-time major champion, said in a statement. “This is where it all started for me. It was my first PGA Tour event, I was 16 years old, I weighed about 105 pounds, and it was a life-changing moment for me.”

Woods, the greatest player of his generation and arguably of all time, made his PGA Tour debut at Riviera at the age of 16. Now aged 40, he has not competed in the Los Angeles event since 2006 when he withdrew after the second round.

Woods has not won a tournament anywhere since 2013 and his title drought in the major championships dates back to 2008.

After being sidelined for nearly 16 months due to a chronic back injury, he returned to competition this month at the Hero World Challenge which he hosts in the Bahamas and produced mixed form to finish 15th in an elite field of 17.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in St. Augustine, Florida; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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