Tiger Woods, Will Zalatoris set for comebacks at Hero World Challenge
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Will play with Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, respectively, in Round 1
Written by Staff @PGATOUR
Tiger Woods and Will Zalatoris, each of whom withdrew from the Masters Tournament in April only to undergo season-ending surgery shortly afterward, return to action at this week’s Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.
Woods will be paired with Justin Thomas when the Hero starts Thursday. The two friends, who went 2-0-0 as a team at the 2019 Presidents Cup, will tee off at 11:52 a.m. ET.
Zalatoris will go off with fellow Dallas resident and pal Jordan Spieth at 12:14 p.m. ET.
One of the most promising up-and-coming Americans, Zalatoris had already suffered a few near-misses in majors by the time he captured his first PGA TOUR title in a playoff at the FedEx St. Jude Championship in 2022. It seemed like the start of something big, but fate intervened.
He suffered two herniated discs the next week, withdrew from the BMW Championship and missed the TOUR Championship and Presidents Cup. Although Zalatoris returned early this year, so did the pain, and he withdrew from the Masters without hitting a shot.
A microdiscectomy – a procedure Woods has had – ended Zalatoris' season.
Meanwhile, Woods had made a record-tying 23rd straight cut at the Masters, but walking in the cold, wet weather hurt too much to continue and he withdrew on Saturday. He had ankle fusion surgery on April 19.
Buzz about a possible Tiger return began with an early October video of him hitting shots at The Hay at Pebble Beach and intensified when he was spotted walking without a limp as he caddied for son Charlie at the recent Notah Begay III Junior Golf National Championship in Louisiana.
“My ankle is fine,” Woods told the Associated Press afterward. “Where they fused my ankle, I have absolutely zero issue whatsoever. That pain is completely gone.
“It’s the other areas (of his leg) that have been compensated for,” he added.
An 82-time PGA TOUR winner, including 15 majors, Woods will turn 48 next month and has not played in the Hero – a tournament he’s won five times – since 2019. He has played in just five tournaments since his 2021 car accident and has completed a full 72 holes just twice.
At the Hero, he’s scheduled not only to play the tournament but also the 18-hole pro-am on Wednesday.