Woods set to make return to PGA after 465 days away
nassau, bahamas» Everyone is watching, everyone is curious, and Jordan Spieth had the perfect view of Tiger Woods for his return to golf.
Spieth was on the 17th green and looked across a narrow pond to the ninth tee at Albany Golf Club where Woods stood over his tee shot during the Wednesday pro-am. He saw the swing, but he lost sight of the ball in the glare of the tropical sun.
“Where did it go?” Spieth said as he tried to gauge where the ball might land. “Not in the fairway.” He looked again. “Whoa! There it is — way down there,” he said.
The shots and the score don’t count until Thursday at the Hero World Challenge with an 18-man field, small but strong. Woods is playing for the first time in 465 days. The expectations have rarely been this varied. The interest is as high as ever.
“He’s the only person ... in the last 30 years in golf that any expectation you set, he’ll somehow prove to you that he can do better,” Spieth said. “But I think with this, I just hope that everyone gives him time. I hope he has the time to fall into a rhythm and just get enough tournaments where he can kind of build up that seeing the shots under competition, under the gun.
Woods last played Aug. 23, 2015, when he closed with a 70 at the Wyndham Championship to fall out of contention and tie for 10th. Two back surgeries followed, leaving him so debilitated at times that he wondered whether he would ever play.
He tees off at high noon in the Bahamas with Patrick Reed, who idolized his golf so much as a teenager that he wears black pants and a red shirt on Sunday.
It was only three years ago that Woods won five times and was PGA Tour player of the year.
Woods had five or more victories 11 times in a span of 13 seasons.
Woods declared himself ready to play and said, “I’m going to try to win this thing.”