Woods will finally return at Hero World Challenge

Associated Press

Tiger Woods said Tuesday he is playing his Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas the first week of December, which would be his first competition in more than 15 months if he follows through with it.

Woods left himself open to doubt by entering the Safeway Open last month, only to pull out three days later when he said his game was not ready.

“I am excited to make my return at the Hero World Challenge at Albany and play in this terrific tournament,” he said in a news release that announced the 18-man field for the unofficial tournament that awards world ranking points but is not part of any tour.

Woods is the tournament host of a holiday event that began in 1999. He is a five-time winner, all of those victories coming at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California, before the tournament moved to Isleworth in Florida and then to the Bahamas.

Woods, now at No. 831 in the world ranking, last played in the Wyndham Championship in August 2015 when he tied for 10th. He had two back surgeries over the next few months and has said he would not return until fully healthy.

He initially said in early September that he planned to play the Safeway Open and Turkish Airlines Open. Woods withdrew on the Monday before the Safeway Open, saying his health was good and his body felt strong but that “my game is vulnerable and not where it needed to be.”

He also pulled out of Turkey.

The Hero World Challenge features players from the top 50 in the world, with an exception made for Woods as the tournament host. The 16 qualifiers came from the top 25 in the world ranking that was published the week after the Tour Championship.

The lone sponsor exemption was given to Zach Johnson, who won the event in its last year at Sherwood by holing a shot for par from the drop area on the 18th hole to force a playoff that he won against Woods.

The tournament will be missing at least the top two players in the world — Jason Day, who is taking the rest of the year off to rest his back, and Rory McIlroy.

Still to be determined is whether U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson plays.

Johnson, who is No. 3 in the world, will be in the Philippines on Tuesday of the tournament week (Nov. 29) for an exhibition with McIlroy. He would have to fly straight from there to Los Angeles and then the Bahamas, arriving in Nassau on Wednesday morning in time for the pro-am. His manager said Johnson has not decided if he will try to play.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Arlington’s defense stuffs Ferndale running back Talan Bungard on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Arlington steamrolls Ferndale in 3A Wesco North showdown

The Eagles light up offense in the first half, finish business to earn a 46-14 win.

Lake Stevens High School head football coach Tom Tri hoists his team’s championship trophy during a community parade and celebration Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
The Herald’s 2022-23 Man of the Year in Sports: Tom Tri

The Lake Stevens coach guided the Vikings to Snohomish County’s first large classification football state title in more than 30 years.

West Linn’s Ryan Vandenbrink (23) runs with the ball during a football game between Lake Stevens and West Linn at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. West Linn won, 49-30. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Turnovers cost Lake Stevens in loss to Oregon power West Linn

The Vikings’ run of 35 straight home wins in the regular season ends in an interstate showdown of big-school state champions.

Marysville Pilchuck’s Christian Van Natta lifts the ball in the air to celebrate a turnover during the game against Marysville Getchell on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 22

Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 22: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report… Continue reading

Lynnwood teammates mob senior Abbie Orr (4) after her impressive dig led to a point against Jackson during a volleyball match Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, at Lynnwood High School in Bothell, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lynnwood volleyball team continues rise to prominence

After ending a 20-year state drought last season, the Royals are surging again and have vaulted to No. 3 in Class 3A in the new WSVCA poll.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) scrambles up field during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Seahawks set to host Panthers, honor past while focused on present

Seattle will honor the 10-year anniversary of its only Super Bowl championship during Sunday’s game.

Jackson High’s Ben Lee lunges to get to the ball against Kamiak on Thursday, Sep. 22, 2022, at the Kamiak Tennis Courts in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Prep boys tennis season preview: Players and teams to watch

A look at the area’s top athletes and teams on the tennis court this fall.

Fall prep sports roundup.
Prep roundup for Saturday, Sept. 23

Also, Friday’s non-football prep results.

Austin Roest prepares to take a wrist shot during the first day of Silvertips training camp on Thursday, August 31, 2023, at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Dad is an NHL bigwig, but Silvertips’ Roest carving his own path

The 19-year-old forward and son of Stanley Cup-winning executive Stacy Roest leads the Silvertips into the 2023-24 season.

Most Read