Tiger Woods makes his long-awaited return to action this week as the 15-time Major winner competes for the first time since July at the World Challenge.
Before that the only events he turned up for were the Masters and the PGA Championship. Yet, between now and the end of 2022, Woods will be seen in action at the World Challenge, a high-profile event that has just 20 players, all of them barring three are inside Top-23 of the world.
Two of the other three, Kevin Kisner (31) and Corey Conners, a late replacement for the injured Hideki Matsuyama (19) add to the field. Only Woods, the host is specially ‘exempt’ at 1277, not having played since the Open and only three events for a total of nine rounds - four at the Masters, three at PGA before withdrawing and two at the Open before missing the cut at St Andrews.
Apart from the HWC, Woods will also tee it up at The Match on December 10 and then with his son, Charlie, at the PNC Championship December 17-18.
There will be intense scrutiny on how Woods has recovered since missing the cut at St. Andrews and will also show the way he plans to approach 2023.
Apart from the defending champion Viktor Hovland of Norway, there is a bunch of debutants at the event, led by Tom Kim, who won the Wyndham Championship in August and the Shriners Children’s Open in October besides making a strong debut at the Presidents Cup debut in September.
Kim is one of six golfers to make their Hero World Challenge debuts.
The Olympic Gold medal winner, Xander Schauffele is also in the field as is Tony Finau, who has had a great season.
The Albany Golf Course is par 72, 7,414 yards long course and this is the seventh year that the Ernie Els-designed Albany Golf Club will play host to the Hero World Challenge. It is a linksy-style course with five par-5s and five par-3s.
The field includes the defending champion Viktor Hovland along with eight major winners. Of them Woods has 15, Jordan Spieth has three, Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas have two each, while Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm (Spain), Matt Fitzpatrick (England) and Shane Lowry (Ireland) have won one each.
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