Woods playing dual role as player and mentor

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Woods has yet to commit to his adopted hometown tournament, the Honda Classic, waiting to see how he fares this week in the opening rounds of the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club.

"My feet", said Woods. When he steps up to the first tee on Thursday he'll no doubt feel a sense of nostalgia, as it was at this very event - then titled the "Nissan Open" - where the American made his first PGA Tour start all the way back in 1992.

Tiger Woods: This will be Tiger's second appearance on the PGA Tour this year. The course is often referred to as "Hogan's Alley" after Ben Hogan, who won the 1948 U.S. Open and three Los Angeles Opens there. Dustin Johnson won previous year by five strokes over Scott Brown and Thomas Pieters.

His scheduled return in 2017 was foiled by yet more back trouble.

For the moment it seems Woods is content trying to get tournament reps in as he aims to understand how his body will work under pressure in competition, but his mind is still never far from the W.

Tiger Woods is still trying to make a huge comeback after he underwent a spinal fusion last April.

During Tuesday's news conference, Woods said he knew the course has changed a bit since he was last here, so he dug out one of his old yardage books to give himself a little guidance. "A lot of the holes, you hit nice soft cuts and I used to love to hit nice soft cuts, and for some reason I just didn't play well".

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Woods will be joined by many of golf's top names, including defending champion Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Phil Mickelson, and Tommy Fleetwood in a star-studded tournament which promises to captivate and enthral. But I don't want to play too much. "I've been away from the game a pretty long time".

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"It'd be a great sign if I do play", Woods told reporters at Riviera, "And I think it'd be a smart sign if I don't play".

"He's one of those players that when he gets it going, there are not a whole lot of guys better than him".

"And those are things I could have never figured out on my own, not in a tournament setting, because in a tournament setting things are ramped up and I could feel some of the things were off". I'm just a person that they could bounce ideas off of - what did I used to do and how do I feel these things, what do I do in certain situations, certain shots.

That included "cleaning up" his swing, and making a few adjustments to his driver after he found just 17 of 56 greens at Torrey Pines. And he's got the bad memory of a year ago at Riviera, where he was in contention early in the final round before fading to a 75.