Tiger Woods’ long-awaited return to competitive golf remains on track for two weeks from tomorrow at the Hero World Challenge, the limited-field tournament he hosts in the Bahamas. Or so his agent, Mark Steinberg, told ESPN.com.
Woods is “getting after it a bit more, continuing to work toward that goal and excited to get back out there and compete, see the guys and be in the locker room instead of being an assistant captain,” Steinberg said, alluding to the 14-time major winner’s recent turn as a subordinate to U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III, in an article published Tuesday.
Woods, 40, last competed in August 2015 at the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship and has undergone two back procedures since then. He initially planned to come back at last month’s Safeway Open, the PGA Tour’s 2016-17 season opener, but withdrew just three days after committing, saying his game was “vulnerable.”
That decision was “never about his determination,” Steinberg said. “The determination is still there. We’ve still got two weeks to go, but he is doing the things necessary to get himself as ready as he can be, but it’s going to be 15 months since the last time he played competitively.”
With that last comment, it sounds like Steinberg is seeking to manage public expectations of Woods’ comeback performance as part of an elite 18-man field that will include three reigning major champions – Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson and Jimmy Walker – not to mention Olympic gold medalist Justin Rose and multiple major winners Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson and Zach Johnson.
Still, no matter how Woods fares, his return will be a welcome distraction from news about the Trump transition.