Woods aims to reverse Riviera fortunes

14-time major champion Tiger Woods

"I've been blown away by the support", Tiger said of the outpouring of concern and well-wishing from the public.

"I'm not used to walking", he said. If I continue to strike it the way I have, it's going to be another good week. Dustin Johnson is the Vegas favorite at 5/1, followed by Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy at 12/1.

While Woods was recovering from spinal fusion surgery last April, and McIlroy battled through a season an injury plagued 2017, Thomas counted his first major title among his five victories last season and has already notched one win in the 2017-18 campaign, in the CJ Cup in South Korea.

Woods said he has spent the time between tournaments trying to "clean up" his swing while keeping his putting sharp.

Bubba Watson - Bubba Watson hasn't had any noteworthy performances since the QBE Shootout, but he has made the cut in four of his last five events and is 11th in driving distance.

The Ulsterman, now ranked 10th in the world, is in undoubtedly one of the marquee groups for the event which starts tomorrow at Riviera Country Club.

Dustin Johnson - Dustin Johnson is back to being Dustin Johnson, finishing runner-up or better in three of his last four events.

McIlroy and Thomas are the last two winners of the FedEx Cup, the PGA Tour's Order of Merit, while 14-time Major victor Woods of course needs little introduction.

He likes the course and it suits but can he jump from MC to victor in the space of a week?

"I'm sorry, but that put things into perspective for me really fast", Woods said with a laugh.

Tiger Woods flew to California with Justin Thomas on his plane and had reason to feel older when they landed. He was T2 in his first outing here last year, and although this is his first start in the U.S. this year, he's had an encouraging start to the year - finishing T5 in Abu Dhabi before a T32 in Dubai. We haven't played, unfortunately, as much as we would like.

Another unique feature of Riviera Country Club's 92-year-old course is its abundance of Eucalyptus trees. "This is all still new to me and I want to be smart about it". Hence it's one of the first tournaments pencilled in on his schedule. With top-20 finishes in 12 of his last 13 global starts, he's due. Power off the tee will favor some of the Tour's biggest bombers.

The other element he brings to the table is a fine record on Poa Annua. Three years later, they were on his private jet flying out to California. Two weeks ago at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in Scottsdale, our recommendation was Brendan Steele at the long-shot price of +5400, and he finished third to pay off for a Top 10.

He could be interesting at 125s. He was tied for the lead after 54 holes, but fell short to Ted Potter Jr. "So I have to do a little more homework (Wednesday) during the Pro-Am".