Tiger reunites with Joe LaCava, plays pain-free practice round at site of this week's Hero World Challenge

November 26, 2017

Stan Badz/Getty Images

A pain-free practice round at the site of the Hero World Challenge was the latest hurdle that Tiger Woods cleared on Sunday as he prepared for his return to competitive golf this week.

According to Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard, Woods made his way around the Albany course on Sunday in the Bahamas in 2 hours and 10 minutes, using a cart and joined by caddie Joe LaCava, as he got in more prep work in anticipation of this week’s return.

Woods didn’t elaborate on a score or whether he played a full 18 holes, but sounded pleased with his game as he discussed his preparation of late ahead of the 18-man tournament he’ll compete in and host, the proceeds of which benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation.

Specifically, Woods talked about his round on Friday in Florida with President Donald Trump, Dustin Johnson and Brad Faxon. It was Faxon who told Golfweek that Woods was outdriving Johnson on “half the holes,” adding to the anticipation for how Tiger will fare in his return.

“[Johnson is] the No. 1 player in the world. He’s been playing, I haven’t been playing,” Woods told reporters on Sunday. “It’s nice to compare my game to some of the other guys, like Dustin or Rickie [Fowler] or Rory [McIlroy]. It’s nice to do something like that and compete and have a couple little denominations [a bet] we’re playing for. I like seeing where I’m at.”

Most importantly, Woods was asked about his swing and whether there’s any issues in terms of pain or discomfort. His response should make any Tiger fan hopeful that this comeback is far different from his recent, short-lived attempts to play again.

“I am a little surprised,” Woods said. “The fact that I don’t have any pain in my lower back compared to what I was living with for years, it’s just remarkable.”

Here's a look, courtesy of the tournament's Twitter feed: