Tiger Woods is back. Again.
The 14-time major winner, sidelined for most of the last three years with a variety of injuries, returns to competitive golf for the first time in nearly a year at next month’s Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. The tiny-field event, sponsored by Woods’ TGR Live organization and benefitting Woods’ self-named foundation, is pretty much the perfect venue for Woods to make his return.
Woods played in the event last year after another long injury layoff. He placed 15th of 17 players, and while the victories to be had were small indeed, Woods did lead the field in birdies and managed some impressive shots reminiscent of the good ol’ days.
But Woods withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic in early February, citing lingering back issues. He underwent back surgery in April. While his summer was eventful, including a DWI arrest, a subsequent stint in rehab and time spent playing daddy, he piqued interest in recent weeks with videos of himself practicing on the range. Clearly, he feels well enough to at least compete in a tournament, although coming anywhere close to the top of the leaderboard will be an enormous challenge.
The no-cut event at the Albany Golf Club, running from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, includes 18 of the world’s best golfers. The field includes the top four players in the world (Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama and Justin Thomas), as well as Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Brooks Koepka, Matt Kuchar and others.
“I am excited to return to competitive golf at the Hero World Challenge,” Woods said in a statement that doesn’t sound at all pre-written. “Albany is the perfect setting and it will be great to join this outstanding field.”
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.
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