LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tiger Woods is starting a new year with a new look.
Just not a different color.
Woods makes his 2024 debut this week in the Genesis Invitational at Riviera, a signature event on the PGA Tour for which he is the tournament host. The first order of business is unveiling what he referred to in December as the next “chapter.”
Woods and Nike ended 27 years together at the end of last year. He wore the swoosh on his shirt for the final time at the PNC Championship that he played with his son, Charlie, who was wearing clothes from a different apparel company.
Woods had a news conference scheduled for Monday at 5:30 p.m. PST outside the gates of Riviera to discuss what he will be wearing in the limited tournaments he plays.
All signs point to TaylorMade. Woods already plays their golf clubs, and TaylorMade Lifestyle Ventures has filed four trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for “Sunday Red” or “SDR.”
Woods announced on Jan. 8 that his relationship with Nike, which produced so many big moments on the golf course and in commercials, had officially ended. His agent at Excel Sports Management, Mark Steinberg, said he expected “an exciting announcement” at Riviera.
Woods has been teasing the announcement on social media recently. He posted a closeup of his face a week ago Monday that said, “The vision remains the same.” On Friday, he posted a darkened picture of him wearing a red shirt that said, “A new day rises.”
Woods was not at Riviera ahead of the announcement. Various promotional posters for the tournament and with the Tiger Woods Learning Center show him with the swoosh.
Woods has worn some variation of red on Sunday his entire career because his Thai-born mother, Kultida, told him it was his power color. She also gives him a new head cover of a tiger each season with words in Thai that say, “Love from Mom.”
Key to that is getting to Sunday. Woods played all four rounds of the unofficial Hero World Challenge in December, his first competition in nearly eight months while he recovered from ankle surgery after the Masters.
Woods made the cut in the rain-delayed Masters but withdrew on Sunday morning before completing the third round because of his injuries. He also made the cut at the Genesis Invitational last year, tying for 45th.
As a signature event, the Genesis Invitational carries a $20 million purse, with $4 million to the winner. Unlike the other signature events, because it's a player-hosted tournament, the Genesis Invitational will have a 36-hole cut to the top 50 and ties, and any player within 10 shots of the lead.
Whatever the new look, it won't be visible as it once was. Woods already was coming off four back surgeries, the last one to fuse his lower spine, when he had a car crash in Los Angeles in the days after the 2021 Genesis Invitational.
He didn't play the rest of the year. But amid concerns he might never play again, Woods recovered to play in the 2022 Masters and made it to Sunday. He has never missed the cut at Augusta National as a pro.
Woods had his right ankle fused after last year's Masters and felt optimistic about 2024. He has set a goal of playing once a month through the major season. That starts at Riviera.
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