Tiger Woods to make return at Hero World Challenge
October 30, 2017
By Cameron Morfit, PGATOUR.COM
Tiger Woods will make return at Hero World Challenge
Tournament host Tiger Woods announced late Monday that he will make his return to competitive golf at the 18-man Hero World Challenge, Nov. 30-Dec. 3, at Albany, Bahamas.
After a nine-month recuperation from his latest back operation, Woods announced on Twitter that he and Daniel Berger will round out the field.
“I’d like to thank the committee of 1 for picking myself and Daniel Berger to play in this years #HeroWorldChallenge,” Woods tweeted.
Although he won five times on the PGA TOUR in 2013, Woods has made just 19 starts since then, including one in 2017, at the Farmers Insurance Open in January. He shot 76-72 to miss the cut, and announced in April that he had undergone back fusion surgery—his fourth back operation in three years.
“I am excited to return to competitive golf at the Hero World Challenge,” Woods said. “Albany is the perfect setting and it will be great to join this outstanding field. I want to thank Pawan Munjal and Hero MotoCorp for their continued support of this tournament and my foundation. I would also like to thank the fans for their unwavering support during my injury.”
Woods was an assistant to U.S. Team Captain Steve Stricker at the Presidents Cup at Liberty National, where he was asked why it was important for him to return to competitive golf.
“I think it’s fun,” said the 14-time major winner Woods, who will turn 42 in December. “You know, I’ve been competing in golf tournaments since I was, what, four years old. From pitch, putt and drive to playing major championships, it’s always been fun to me.”
Younger players like Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, each 24, grew up watching Woods on TV and now dominate the TOUR along with Dustin Johnson, 33. But it can’t be lost on Woods that two of the first five winners this season, Pat Perez and Ryan Armour, are his age, 41.
Woods has given regular updates of his slow progress. He engaged in putting contests with fellow South Floridians Rickie Fowler and Thomas, and said he was sleeping better and had no nerve pain running down his legs. Then he was chipping. Then he was hitting full shots. Last week he posted a slow-motion video of himself hitting his old standby, the “stinger.”
“I don’t know what 100 percent means after eight surgeries,” Woods said at the Presidents Cup. “But I’ll try and get as close as I can to that number, yes. But as I said, we just take it one step at a time. It’s a process, and I’m in no hurry.”
The youngest assistant captain on either team at the Presidents Cup, Woods huddled with fellow assistants Fred Couples, Jim Furyk and Davis Love III as Stricker announced the lineups.
“It would be fun to have him back,” Brooks Koepka said. “Fans want it. Players want it.”
Starting at the Hero, they’ll get it.