Most athletes with an injury list as long and detailed as Tiger Woods would be retired from professional sport. Woods, however, is different to most athletes.
The 15-time major champion’s much-anticipated return to professional golf at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas wasn’t perfect, nor was it ever likely to be.
But in his first tournament in nearly eight months, Woods demonstrated that he can still be competitive at a high standard and that his desire to keep playing remains undiminished.
He finished on even par at Albany Golf Club on Sunday, placing 18th out of 20 on the overall leaderboard. His final round featured five birdies – including an excellent long putt on the fifth – as well as some wayward moments: a double bogey on the second hole and three further bogeys on the eighth, 11th and 16th.
All in all, there were some promising signs for the 47-year-old. Woods averaged 305 yards off the tee, proving that his long game is in good health, and he also showed that his beaten and ageing body can still withstand the rigors of four rounds of competitive golf.
“I think I’ve come a long way from being a little bit rusty to playing four days and knocking off a lot of rust, which was great,” Woods told Golf Channel after his final round.
“The physicality of actually playing and competing again – I haven’t done this in a while. It was nice to get out there with the guys and have some fun and compete. I just wish I could have played a little bit cleaner but there’s always next time.”
For Woods, next time will be the PNC Championship, a father-son tournament which tees off in Orlando, Florida on December 14.
This will be the fourth time in a row that Woods has entered the event alongside his son Charlie and his second tournament since undergoing ankle surgery in April.
In 2024, Woods hopes to play on the PGA Tour once a month. While competing in the Bahamas, he said that the Genesis Invitational in February and the Players Championship in March could be options as he steps up his competitive return.
He posted a two-under 70 on Friday, climbing to 15th on the leaderboard after a hit-and-miss opening round, and followed up with a 71 on Saturday.
But the most important thing will be that his body held up, some eight months after Woods said that he had endured “constant pain” while playing at the Masters.
The ankle surgery that followed his withdrawal at Augusta National in April was the latest in a long line of injuries which have forced Woods to take time away from golf; he suffered severe leg injuries in a car crash in 2021 and has also undergone surgeries on his back and left knee over the years.
Given what he has already achieved over the course of his decorated career – 15 major titles and a joint-record 82 PGA Tour wins – you could excuse Woods for wanting to walk away from the sport altogether.
“He could easily sail off into the sunset, never touch a club again, never do anything again – just go and live his life and enjoy the second half of his life, do whatever, hang out with his kids,” Scottie Scheffler, who won the Hero World Challenge by three shots, told reporters ahead of the tournament.
“But he continues to come back and wants to compete and he continues to do what’s best for the players and the PGA Tour. It’s pretty inspirational for the rest of us involved in the game.”
After his win on Sunday, Scheffler said that it was “very special” to see Woods back on a golf course, walking down the fairways in his iconic red and black outfit.
It could become a more common sight for the rest of the golfing world next year as one of the game’s greatest players continues to rage against the dying light.
Alamogordo Men's Golf Association Presents
Party— Friday, December 8th
Tournament —Saturday, December 9th, 9am Shotgun
$3,500 added from your A.M.G.A
- 5:30pm Appetizers, drink tickets
- 6:00pm -- Draft for Saturday's Tourney
- Post draft will be the famous indoor putting competition - cash added
- 4 person scramble AMGA members ONLY
- Added prize money
- All players sign up individually
- Teams selected in the "Draft" on Friday Night!
- Players are separated into "A, B, C, D" players.
- The "D" players will be designated as "Captains" and will "Draft" the remaining players onto a team.
- The "Draft" will allow each "D" player to pick from the pool of players until all players are on a team
- Each team will have one player from each group (A, B, C, D)
Players will play from different tees based on their group
"A" Players - Purple Tees - except 50 & Over
"A" Players 50 & Over, B & C Players - Blue Tees
"D" Players - Tan Tees
Pay at the time of sign up, deadline is Thursday, December 7th @ noon
Entry fee of $45.00 plus Green Fees or Pass includes:
Prizes, hole contests, added money, payout half cash half credit
All players are encouraged to attend "THE DRAFT" on Friday Night
Team Cash Buy-In on Draft Night!
Call Desert Lakes Golf Course for more information
The launch of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy’s new golf league, TGL, has been postponed until 2025 due to damage to the purpose-built tournament venue in Florida.
TGL, a tech-infused golf league that is designed to provide an alternative viewing experience to traditional golf tournaments, was scheduled to start in January at the SoFi Center, a state-of-the-art simulator venue that has been designed to hold around 1,600 fans.
But the venue was hit by storms in Florida last week, with the air-supported dome section collapsing. Officials said a power outage caused the deflation of the structure and the damage was too severe for TGL to begin at the start of the year as planned.
Woods and McIlroy had partnered with the PGA and were able to recruit a cast of 24 players, including several of the sport’s highest-profile stars, to compete in the team-based format.
TGL officials said no one was injured in the damage to the venue and the technology, which supports the golf simulators used in the competition, was not impacted.
McIlroy said the postponement brought “mixed feelings of disappointment and excitement”.
“Above all, we are happy that no one was injured,” McIlroy said. “We are looking forward to the launch of TGL. Given the circumstances, while the delay is disappointing, the postponement will allow us to regroup, refocus and return stronger."
A statement from TGL added: "Following discussions with key partners, including players, our six team ownership groups, PGA TOUR leadership and our commercial partners, SoFi, ESPN and Palm Beach State College, the decision has been made to postpone the start of the TGL season until early 2025.
"This decision came after reviewing short-term solutions, potential construction timelines, player schedules, and the prime time sports television calendar. Despite this new timeline for the venue, we remain excited about the future of TGL and will continue to build excitement between now and the start of the season with our players, fans and teams.
"We have begun to update plans and timelines and are confident that the extension will only improve our delivery."