Tiger WoodsNovember 1, 2016

Tiger Woods announces his return to golf, is "excited" to play Hero World Challenge

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20:  Tiger Woods attends Tiger Woods Foundation's 20th Anniversary Celebration at the New York Public Library on October 20, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images)
Getty ImagesNEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20: Tiger Woods attends Tiger Woods Foundation's 20th Anniversary Celebration at the New York Public Library on October 20, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images)

It looks like that Tiger Woods comeback is going to take place in 2016, after all. At least, we think. Woods announced on Tuesday his intention to make his return to competitive golf at the Hero World Challenge. The event hosted by Woods will take place Dec. 1-4 in the Bahamas. Previously, Woods announced he had hoped to play in the Hero along with the Safeway Open, the first tournament of the 2016-2017 PGA Tour season, and the Turkish Airlines Open, before withdrawing from the Safeway three days before the event. He sounds more confident he'll actually tee it up this time.

"I am excited to make my return at the Hero World Challenge at Albany and play in this terrific tournament," Woods said in a statement. "This is our 18th year, and every year we put together a top field that showcases the best golfers from the previous season."

Woods hasn't played since the 2015 Wyndham Championship. Following that event, in which Woods finished T-10, he underwent two back surgeries. Assuming he plays in the Bahamas, it will end the longest break (15 months) from golf of his career.

Woods has won this limited-field event five times. Other than the 14-time major champ, this year's field of 18 includes Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson, Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed, defending champ Bubba Watson, and Hideki Matsuyama, who is coming off last week's win at the WGC-HSBC Champions. The event will be televised by NBC and Golf Channel and although it's not an official PGA Tour event, it counts for Official World Golf Ranking points.

World No. 2 Dustin Johnson was originally supposed to play as well, but he's taking World No. 1 Jason Day's place in a charity match against World No. 3 Rory McIlroy in the Philippines instead.

Recently, Woods went on a mini-media tour of NYC promoting his new corporate brand, TGR: Tiger Woods Ventures. The company includes all of Woods' businesses as well as the Tiger Woods Foundation, which is the Hero World Challenge's main charitable beneficiary.

In an interview with Charlie Rose during that trip, Woods, who turns 41 on Dec. 30, said he still believes he can break Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major championships. The following day, he told Stephen Colbert, "I'll be there playing," when asked about the Hero World Challenge.

At least, for now, Woods hasn't changed his mind again.


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