Tiger rar­ing to go

> No shades but Woods ‘ready’ for long-awaited come­back

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

TIGER WOODS picked up a headache after for­get­ting his sun­glasses in his fi­nal prac­tice round yes­ter­day but oth­er­wise de­clared him­self good to go as he pre­pared to bring an end to a 16-month ab­sence from tour­na­ment golf.

On the eve of the Hero World Chal­lenge in The Ba­hamas, the 40-year-old said he would be “fo­cused” and “ready” for the first round of the ex­clu­sive 18-man event at the Al­bany course on the is­land of New Prov­i­dence.

“I felt good with pretty much ev­ery­thing,” the 14-times ma­jor win­ner said. “I was able to hit all the shots I needed to hit. The wind was def­i­nitely pump­ing to­day.

“I did a lit­tle bit of work for prob­a­bly 12 holes or so. After that we were jaw­ing pretty good.”

Woods, who hosts the tour­na­ment to the ben­e­fit of his char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tion, did make one rookie er­ror.

“I prob­a­bly did a dumb move in not play­ing in sun­glasses ... and I’m start­ing to get a pretty good headache from squint­ing so much,” he said.

“Live and learn and to­mor­row I’ll have them on.”

Woods is mak­ing his come­back this week after abort­ing his sched­uled re­turn in Oc­to­ber be­cause he thought his game was not ready for the high­est level.

He has not com­peted since fin­ish­ing 10th at the Wyn­d­ham Cham­pi­onship in Greens­boro, North Carolina, in Aug. 2015, after which he had two operations on his back.

Now healthy again, the big ques­tion is how long it will take him to dust off the metaphor­i­cal cob­webs and re­gain his old sharp­ness. Most do not ex­pect much this week at least, with Woods on one bet­ting site listed a 33/1 long shot to win, mak­ing him the equal rank out­sider in the small field. For many ob­servers, though, this week is not about win­ning as much as get­ting an inkling as to whether Woods has it in him to re­gain the magic that cap­ti­vated the sports world for the best part of two decades. “It’s go­ing to take a lit­tle time,” said Jor­dan Spi­eth, the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2013, the last year that Woods won on tour. “I just hope that ev­ery­one gives him time to fall into a rhythm and just get enough tour­na­ments where he can kind of build up.” – Reuters

– AFPPIX

Tiger Woods hits a tee shot on the sev­enth hole dur­ing the pro-am ahead of the Hero World Chal­lenge at Al­bany, The Ba­hamas yes­ter­day.

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