It was 2011 when Woods last teed-up at the Emirates Club in Dubai and an event he’s very familiar having captured the title in both 2006 and 2008.
Back then Woods had been ranked No. 3 in the world and would finish third behind Spaniard Alvaro Quiros.
Woods will walk onto the first tee on Thursday now ranked No. 663 in the world (As at Jan 28th).
The American's last regular European Tour event was in joining Rory McIlroy in missing the cut in the 2013 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
And while Woods left California a little concerned how his back would hold up after the near 17-hour flight from L.A. to Dubai he was looking forward to this week.
“I know the Emirates golf course well and I know the greens, so I know the putts," he said.
Tiger Woods ended his 17-month PGA Tour injury lay off
"I know how it's going to play, and I've played it under so many different conditions over the years, whether we've had a lot of rough, no rough, we've had shamals, no shamals, whatever we've had there.
“I've played under all different conditions so it’s nice going to a golf course that I know.”
Woods will use the trip to inspect work on his course design project at the Trump World Golf Club, and set out within a 55 million square-foot community and being developed by DAMAC Properties.
It is Woods second attempt at designing the course after he had been reputed paid $55m back in 2008 but with the project abandoned and officially dissolved in 2013 amidst the impact of the property crash.
But the project has been rescued and expected to be completed ahead of Dubai hosting the 2020 World Expo.
Tiger Woods last competed at the Dubai Desert Classic in 2011 ranked No 3 in the world
However, Woods has surprised many, and despite being pampered all the way at 36,000 feet, with a decision to put himself through a long-haul return flight so soon after double back surgery.
He spoke of that concern after missing the cut by four shots with scores of 76 and 72 in the Farmers Insurance Open.
“I’m concerned how my body going to handle flights," he said.
"Flying out here to Torrey Pines was something I hadn't done in a while. So now we've got a pretty good jaunt, 17 hours. It will be good.”
It had been very much Tiger-mania all over again at Torrey Pines with near record crowds flocking to see the 14-time Major winner competing again on the PGA Tour.
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Unfortunately, for Olympic Gold medal winning Justin Rose, who led the event by a shot ahead of third round, he was just a sentence in most sports pages.
Woods was still errant with the driver, and as he has been for a long time, but if any aspect of his game was sharp it was his short-game.
And after finishing near the tail of the field in December’s Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, Woods will certainly be stronger following his appearance at Torrey Pines.
"I would have to say that I feel infinitely stronger than I did at the Bahamas," said Woods.
“That's just that much more time working out and getting ready and having my clubs tuned in better than I did at the Bahamas. That was brand new. I just feel like I've really made some nice strides with my game, but I haven't tested it yet.
“Granted, slashing it out of the rough all day yesterday (Thursday) was not exactly the best way to test.
“Dustin (Johnson) was laughing at me in the second round saying he hit three fairways and hit a tree to get it on the last hole. “I said yeah, I know exactly how that feels, I did it on the South Course, which is the worst course to do it on.
“He said, "Oh, yeah, that's right. I didn't see you all day until I got to the green." I made some improvements, I've gotten there and need to keep improving.”
And while Farmers Insurance Open organisers got it spot on crowd-wise putting Woods out with Jason Day and Dustin Johnson don’t be surprised Dubai organisers do the same.
It will mean a Thursday starting three ball featuring reigning Masters champ, Dannny Willett, Open winner, Henrik Stenson and Woods.