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Tiger Woods will make 2012 PGA Tour debut at Pebble Beach

The golfer last played the event in 2002, but did play at Pebble Beach for the 2010 U.S. Open, and tied for fourth. There will be a new course at Monterey Peninsula, and a field of 156 golfers.

January 09, 2012|By Diane Pucin
  • Tiger Woods lines up a putt during the first round of the Australian Open in November.
Tiger Woods lines up a putt during the first round of the Australian Open… (Rob Griffith / Associated…)

Tiger Woods, who had previously announced he would skip the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in La Jolla this year, instead will make his 2012 PGA Tour debut Feb. 9-12 at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Woods played at Pebble Beach in the 2010 U.S. Open and tied for fourth, but he hasn't played the annual Pebble Beach event since 2002, when he tied for 12th.

Woods announced his plans for Pebble Beach on his website Monday.

More often during the last decade, Woods has started his PGA season at Torrey Pines, but in November Woods said he would skip Torrey Pines this year to play in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Woods has won the Farmers Insurance Open six times and also won the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.

Woods told reporters late last year, when he made the decision to skip Torrey Pines, "I've always enjoyed playing in HSBC events around the world, so I have been interested in including the Abu Dhabi event in my schedule for some time."

When Woods last played the Pebble Beach tournament, the field was 180 players, leading Woods to complain that greens had become bumpy and the long rounds were wearing. The field is now 156.

A new course has been added to the three-course rotation since that time, the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club, which replaced Poppy Hills.

On his website Woods said, "I've never played Monterey Peninsula and am looking forward to it. From all I've heard, it's a wonderful course and the greens are fast."

Woods finished the 2011 season in an upbeat fashion, winning his own tournament at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks. The victory ended a two-year winless streak.

"I have a lot of good memories at Pebble. It will be fun going back," he said on his website.

Of his many memorable career performances, two came at Pebble Beach. In 2000 he holed out for eagle on the 15th hole and birdied two of the final three holes to surge past Matt Gogel and that summer he went back and won the U.S. Open by a staggering 15 strokes at Pebble.

AT&T was one of the corporate sponsors to drop Woods in 2009 when information became public about several extramarital affairs Woods had engaged in that eventually resulted in his divorce from Elin Nordegren. AT&T, though, still is the title sponsor of the AT&T National, a PGA Tour event in suburban Washington, D.C., that has the Tiger Woods Foundation as a charitable beneficiary.

The PGA Tour arrives in California Jan. 19-22 with the Humana Challenge in La Quinta, played at the Palmer Private Course at PGA West, the Nicklaus Private Course at PGA West and La Quinta Country Club. Last week, Phil Mickelson and Greg Norman entered the event.

diane.pucin@latimes.com twitter.com/mepucin

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