Tiger Woods can't seem to win on course at tourney he's hosting

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods during a practice round ahead of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods during a practice round ahead of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

"Last year at this time I just had competed in basically one Tour event, and I was just trying whether or not I can make it to Florida", said the 43-year-old at his pre-tournament press conference.

It will be Tiger's first time on the course in an official PGA capacity since he played in the Farmers Insurance Open near the end of January. "I love playing this golf course".

"I've always enjoyed playing with Rory", Woods added.

With the help of his late father, Earl, Woods formed his own foundation early in his pro career, then started a tournament now known as the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas (it had been played in Southern California for most of its time) to help promote the foundation as well as raise funds for it.

That was in 1999, a few months before the first major overhaul in his swing took root.

Woods missed the cut here a year ago in just his second full-field PGA Tour start after undergoing spinal fusion surgery, but he has high hopes of contending for his 81st career title on a course that remains one of his favourites despite his lack of success.

"I haven't really played a lot overseas and I turned the opportunity to go to Saudi Arabia down last summer", Woods told reporters on the eve of the US PGA Tour's Genesis Open. He is in the same group as Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy, just like previous year, when Woods missed the cut for the only time in 2018 at a regular PGA Tour event. "So I'm in a very different position now, having played an entire season - I know what my body can and cannot do and so I'm looking forward to this week. Hopefully I can finally play this golf course well".

The field is stacked, though it is missing the top two players in the world ranking as Justin Rose and Brooks Koepka are taking the week off. The field also features Dustin Johnson, who considers Riviera his favorite track and has a victory to show for it.

"The only thing I've got on Tiger is that I've won here", Watson said.