By James Payne – 1851 Staff
After approximately 16 months in the clubhouse, Tiger Woods made his return to competitive golf this week. In Albany, Bahamas, Woods hosts his own tournament, The Hero World Challenge. The tournament always contains a prestigious invite-only field from the top 50 players of the official rankings. This year’s field consisted of 18 players and finished with 17 after Justin Rose withdrew following the first round on Thursday.
With moderate expectations after an extended stay on the sidelines due to back surgery, Woods should be pleased with his performance. With a par 72 course, Woods shot 73-65-70-76. This was good enough for finishing 4 under par and 15th in the field of 17 who finished the tournament. Those who finished ahead of him include players who have won majors, medals at the Olympics and shown strong performances at The President’s Cup this season.
Tiger’s driver wasn’t his best friend this weekend but he managed. While testing out some new clubs, Tiger’s irons and putter weren’t far off pace from his successes in years past.
His performance Friday and in early holes on Saturday made him competitive but unable to keep up with winner Hideki Matsuyama (finished 18 under par) and the cluster of players that were vying for second place. Although by Sunday, Woods was all but out of the running, it was refreshing to see his ever-famous red shirt and black pants on the course.
For the sake of professional golf, having Woods back for the entirety of the 2017 season would be pleasing.