Tiger looking forward to unique match-play return

Tiger Woods is back in his element as he prepares for match-play action at the WGC-Dell Technologies Championship.

Woods, 43, has excelled at match play throughout his career, including winning the WGC event a record three times.

But, Woods has not competed in a match-play event since 2013 and the 14-time major winner is excited for the tournament in Austin, Texas.

“I’m looking forward to the fact that I get to focus on one guy. Each and every shot is different,” Woods said on Tuesday.

“You don’t really care about what the rest of the field is doing. I just have to beat the guy in front of me. It’s the ebb and low of each and every shot. And each and every hole is its own match.”

This will be the first match-play event under the revised rules. But, the changes are not as drastic as some of the controversial revisions for other PGA Tour events. The golfers will be using updated terminology when parsing their scores and some penalties have been softened.

The WGC event starts with 16 groups of four players, divided by their world ranking, contesting round-robin matches from Wednesday through Friday and only the group winners will advance to Saturday’s round of 16.

“This round-robin format, being here for three days is a little bit different,” Woods said. “Also, the fact there’s no 36-hole final either is a little bit different for me. This is a new event, a new format for me.”

Woods is taking everything into account from the forecast wind to how firm the greens will be under the conditions.

“The way these greens are starting to firm out, trying to drive the ball on 13 is going to be interesting. There’s a lot more room out there than it looks like on the right side of 13 and 14,” he said.

“On top of that, it’s how is your match going. Are you behind? Up? Is it all-square? Is it tight? Are you leading off? Are you hitting second? These are all things that are near and people watching on TV will enjoy.”

Woods will join Patrick Cantlay, Brandt Snedeker and 2017-18 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Aaron Wise in Group 13.