set to return in Bahamas next month
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[October 31, 2017]
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tiger Woods
announced on Monday he will make his return to competitive golf at
the Nov. 30–Dec. 3 Hero World Challenge at Albany in the Bahamas.
Woods, who continues to recover from back surgery and has not played
competitively in nine months, will be part of an elite 18-player
“I am excited to return to competitive golf at the Hero World
Challenge,” tournament host and 14-time major champion Woods said in
"Albany is the perfect setting and it will be great to join this
The 41-year-old American has only played six competitive rounds in
the past two years while trying to recover from multiple back
Last year Woods also made a comeback at the same event, ending
nearly 16 months on the sidelines, and finished 15th in a final
field of 17.
He showed flashes of the brilliant golf that carried him to 14 major
titles. However, he also delivered the inept, often finding sandy
waste areas off the tee or with his approach shots.
As his back issues continued, Woods returned to the PGA Tour in
January. He missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open and shot an
opening-round 77 a week later in Dubai before withdrawing.
In April he announced that he had undergone a fourth back operation
in three years.
The winner of five tournaments in 2013, Woods has played just 19
"All of us would be overjoyed if Tiger Woods could come back and
play at a high level," Woods' former swing coach Butch Harmon told
Sky Sports. "He's playing an appropriate event because there are
only 18 players, even though they are top echelon players.
"It's a more relaxed type of event. It's his tournament. I think
he's going to feel a little more relaxed there.
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Golfer Tiger Woods walks into the North County Courthouse in Palm
Beach Gardens, Florida, U.S., October 27, 2017. REUTERS/Saul
"We'll have to see how he is physically, how he is mentally and how
his nervous system holds up."
Woods will not find the competition any easier this year with a top
flight field that includes Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Hideki
Matsuyama, Justin Thomas, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Brooks Koepka,
Matt Kuchar and Justin Rose.
The Hero World Challenge will be the latest in a long-running
comeback saga that has produced more downs than ups.
The most recent embarrassing setback came last Friday when Woods
pleaded guilty in a Florida court to reckless driving and entered a
program for first-time offenders, avoiding a conviction on the
charge of driving under the influence (DUI) last spring.
He was found asleep in May behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz,
which was parked alongside a road not far from his home on Jupiter
Woods had five drugs in his system when he was arrested, but no
alcohol, according to a toxicology report. Those drugs included
generic forms of the painkillers Vicodin and Dilaudid; the mood drug
Xanax; the sleeping pill Ambien, and a drug that contained THC, the
active ingredient in marijuana
(Writing by Ken Ferris and Steve Keating, editing by Pritha Sarkar)
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