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Inside Tiger Woods' 2018-19 season

One big question looms as Tiger Woods embarks on a new season: What's next? After a return to the big stage a season ago, in which he not only played a full schedule but won again with an impressive performance at the Tour Championship, Woods is back for the next chapter.

Will this season be better? Worse? Include another win, or multiple wins? What about that elusive 15th major championship?

We're here to chronicle every step along the way.

This week

WGC-Mexico Championship

This is a new experience for Woods -- playing in Mexico and at altitude. He's made it clear this will require some adjustments. Woods admitted this week, and the complicated decisions about where and when he will play after this, are designed to prepare him for April in Augusta. Part of that buildup will be showing areas of improvement. And one of those obvious areas is in his putting. Woods struggled with the putter a week ago at the Genesis Open, calling it one of the worst weeks he's ever had on the greens.

Earlier in 2019 ...

Genesis Open

The streak will go on. No place has Tiger Woods played more without a win than at Riviera Country Club. But after four days of stops, starts and early wake-up calls thanks to awful weather, Woods walked away with some good and bad before he heads off to this week's WGC-Mexico Championship. After needing a long birdie just to make the cut, Woods put together a solid third round -- it spanned Saturday and very early Sunday morning -- to leap into the top-10 before fading down the stretch Sunday afternoon. Like much of the field, Woods simply looked tired as he closed a long week.

Key stat: Look closer at the good and bad. If you add up the positives -- birdies and eagles -- Woods was 20-under. That was third-best, behind Justin Thomas and J.B. Holmes. But he also made 10 bogeys, which was 10th-most in the field.

Round 1: 70
Round 2: 71
Round 3: 65
Round 4: 72
Final: T-20

Farmers Insurance Open

Tiger eased into his 2019 schedule, starting slow before a strong closing round to get him some extra FedEx Cup points. Expecting him to win his first start in a new season -- even though he's held his arms high at the end of eight events at Torrey Pines -- isn't reasonable. These aren't the old days. This was about getting back in tournament mode, shaking off some rust and starting the buildup to April at Augusta National. So while the first three days were frustrating -- he couldn't get anything going -- the closing 67, including a back-nine 31, will add some confidence as he works on his game over the next two weeks before resurfacing at Riviera for the Genesis Open on Feb. 14-17.

Key stat: Tiger Woods finished 10th in the field with 5.856 strokes gained tee to green, but he took 118 putts this week, including 61 on the weekend. His 29.5 putts per round were T-57.

Round 1: 70
Round 2: 70
Round 3: 71
Round 4: 67
Finish: T-20

Full leaderboard: Farmers Insurance Open

  • Can Tiger get to No. 1 again? READ

  • Answering every big Tiger question for 2019. READ


How he closed 2018 ...

Hero World Challenge

After a lengthy layoff following a poor Ryder Cup -- the lone appearance between the Ryder Cup and this event in the Bahamas was his one-off Match with Phil Mickelson -- Woods struggled all week and finished 17th in the 18-player field (Hideki Matsuyama was last).

"Overall, it was a long week," he said.

Key stat: The short holes were Woods' downfall. He played the 20 par 3s in 7-over -- five bogeys, one triple and a birdie. He was 8-under over the rest of the golf course.

Round 1: 73
Round 2: 69
Round 3: 72
Round 4: 73
Finish: 17th (18-player field)

Full leaderboard: Hero World Challenge

  • Tiger plans out 2019 after second-to-last finish READ

  • PGA's first event of 2019 might make sense for Tiger READ

  • Woods admits big season wore him out. READ

  • He's back ... now what? READ

Earlier this season ...

The Match

It was promoted for months and months, the long-awaited showdown with longtime rival Phil Mickelson. Perhaps the golf didn't live up to the hype -- or the promised level of trash talk, either -- but it was the unofficial kickoff to Woods' new season.

  • The match that missed the mark -- over and over. READ

  • How and why Tiger lost. READ

Result

Lost 1-up in 22 holes.