Norton: Tiger Woods Arrives at 2018 Dell Technologies Championship

Tiger Woods addresses the media at TPC Boston Thursday (Photo Credit: Brendan Connelly)

Tiger Woods addresses the media at TPC Boston Thursday (Photo Credit: Brendan Connelly)

NORTON - The world of golf has come to life once again with the recent resurgence of Tiger Woods.

And this weekend, Bay State locals will have the chance  to see it on display when the 2018 Dell Technologies Championship tees-off in Norton today.

“Yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve been back,” Woods said. “And looking forward to getting out there. I know they’ve made a few changes out there since the last time I played. I know I’ve played well on this golf course over the years. Hopefully it will be one of those weeks again.”

It will be the first time that Woods has taken part in the local tournament since 2013, when he finished tied for 65th place in what was then-dubbed The Deutsche Bank Championship.

Coincidentally, 2013 was also the last time Woods actually won a PGA event. But after a rough few years, he has drawn close again in 2018, with second place finishes in both the PGA Championship at Bellerive, and at the Valspar Championship. The 42-year-old currently sits at 25th in the latest FedExCup Rankings with 1,212 points.

Updated FedExCup Standings as of Thursday (Photo Credit: Brendan Connelly)

Updated FedExCup Standings as of Thursday (Photo Credit: Brendan Connelly)

“The thing is for me is just to keep getting there in the mix, keep getting on the back nine there with a chance to win,” Woods said. I responded well at Valspar. I made a mistake there at Bay Hill and The PLAYERS, even at the Open Championship. But learned from those and really did well at the PGA. So it’s just a matter of giving myself enough opportunities. I’m not going to win them all. In order to win them you’ve got to be there. And I’ve been there enough this year and obviously want more of it.”

Other big names committed to playing this year include 2017 Dell Technologies Champion, Justin Thomas, as well as Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, all of whom are in pursuit of FedExCup point leader, Bryson DeChambeau.

Although Thomas acknowledges that there may be revived competition for the top spot in the PGA ranks, he believes that the return of Woods is very important for the continued growth of their game.

“It means a lot,” Thomas said. “And I think it gets a little misconstrued sometimes how we in no way will ever have disrespect towards someone like him or Phil (Mickelson) or whoever the greats are for the game, that have helped get the game to where it is now…They’re the reason we’re playing for the money we’re playing for now. And to have someone like him back after everything he’s gone through, after all the injuries, the surgeries…But after getting to know him a little bit I know he wants a lot more than what he’s just done this year. He wants to knock off some more wins and definitely some more majors.”

During a brief moment, Woods also discussed what it was like having a recent practice round at the Masters – with Brockton firefighter, Matt Parziale.

“He was great,” Woods said. “Super nice. He and his dad were talking about what they do for a living, looking at their shifts, how many days on, how many days off. And he took the summer to play golf and enjoy it. And hats off to him. He puts his life on the line for his community and I think he’s earned the right to go out and play a little golf this summer and enjoy it.”

It will be the last time local fans will have to see these athletes at the facility, at least until 2020. An annual tradition since 2003, the PGA will be converting the Dell Technologies Championship into a bi-annual affair.

“Well at least we have a future, at least we’re coming back,” Woods said. “The people here always supported this event. They come out in droves and they’re loud. And it’s been fun. I’ve had some nice runs here where I’ve played well, and they’ve gotten into it. You can hear roars up around this golf course. I know it’s spread out, but you can hear the echoes, so it’s really neat. It’s a shame we aren’t coming back here annually. But I guess bi-annually isn’t bad. It’s better than nothing.”

2017 Dell Technologies Champion Justin Thomas (left) alongside PGA Communications Coordinator Rachel Noble at a press conference Thursday

2017 Dell Technologies Champion Justin Thomas (left) alongside PGA Communications Coordinator Rachel Noble at a press conference Thursday (Photo Credit: Brendan Connelly

About Brendan Connelly

Brendan Connelly, a lifetime native of Scituate, comes to WATD via the University of Massachusetts, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications. During his time in Amherst, Brendan worked extensively with the University’s Radio Station WMUA 91.1 FM, in their sports department as a Broadcaster and Reporter. He also wrote for the Northampton-based periodical, the Daily Hampshire Gazette, in their Sports Department. Following his graduation in May 2014, Brendan applied at WATD, and was then hired a few weeks later as a Sales Executive. Shortly thereafter, he would gradually work his way into the Sports Department, becoming a weekly host on the Sports Exchange with Bill Wilhelm. One year later, Brendan officially took over the Morning Sports with Rob & Lisa, giving updates on Local High School Sports News Tuesdays through Fridays. Brendan still consistently sells advertising space as well for WATD, and helps Bill Wilhelm’s team at sporting events as a commentator. During his career with WATD, Brendan has had the opportunity to interview the likes of Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Kyrie Irving, Isaiah Thomas, Zdeno Chara, and many more. Outside the station, Brendan also works as a Sports Writer for the Boston Herald, who hired his services one month following WATD. Brendan has also interned as a broadcaster for the Brockton Rox, which he completed during the summer of 2012.