Tiger Woods has announced that his 2018 debut will be at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego later this month. It will be his first official PGA Tour event since last year, when he missed the cut in the same tournament while in the midst of dealing with his chronically aching back.

Woods had spinal fusion surgery and played in an exhibition in December, where he seemed to be swinging freely and still have all his competitive instincts

“I’m very excited to be back at Riviera,” Woods, 42, said in a statement on his website on Thursday.“I haven’t played at Riviera in a tournament in a very long time.To be able to play in an event that I used to come to as an amateur, as a junior and now as the tournament host, that is on one of the most historic sites in all of golf, it’s a dream come true.”

Anyone who expected the Woods of old might have been slightly disappointed at his ninth place finish in the Hero World Challenge, but that limited, 18-man field contained eight of the world’s top 10 golfers.

Woods is focused on building up his playing in order to be ready for The Masters in April, followed by the U.S. Open, the British Open and the PGA Championship, as he is now racing the clock if he is ever to match or surpass Jack Nicklaus’ 18 Major record.

Nicklaus was just over 46 when he won The Masters for the last time in 1986.

Woods is just four years away from that very age and has gone nine years since winning a Major, the 2008 U.S. Open.

At that time, it seemed like only a matter of a few years until he caught Nicklaus, but physical limitations began to plague Woods and it was not long ago when he himself expressed doubts about ever
competing again.