Tiger Woods has committed to play in the 2023 Hero World Challenge. The tournament, hosted annually by Woods, takes place from Nov 30-Dec 3 at Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas. Rounding out the 20-man field alongside Lucas Glover and Justin Rose, the 47-year-old will be making his first competitive start since the Masters, during which he withdrew in the third round due to an ankle injury. Woods has since been seen caddying for his son, Charlie, in junior golf tournaments and recently provided an update on his recovery after undergoing ankle surgery.
"My ankle is fine. Where they fused my ankle, I have absolutely zero issue whatsoever," Woods told the Associated Press. "That pain is completely gone. It's the other areas that have been compensated for … all the surrounding areas is where I had all my problems and I still do. So you fix one, others have to become more hypermobile to get around it, and it can lead to some issues."
Woods admitted to soreness following four rounds of caddying for Charlie, and his gait will be the motion to monitor. Struggling at times to walk at the Genesis Invitational, where he finished T45, and bowing out early at Augusta National, Woods' walk in competition has not been seen post ankle surgery.
The 15-time major champion will have to walk all 72 holes; carts are not permissible in PGA Tour-sanctioned events. Many projected Woods to stay on the sidelines for his tournament and look at the PNC Championship as a possible return. The father-son event is tied to the PGA Tour Champions and allows golf carts which Woods has utilized the past two years while teaming with Charlie.
Woods has not yet committed to play in the PNC Championship, but this expedited comeback could be a signal of him revving up for 2024. The Hero World Challenge is relatively low stakes, and will serve as a benchmark for his health, post-round recovery habits and, of course, his actual golf game.
Woods has played in just five tournaments since he was seriously injured and hospitalized following a single-car crash in February 2021. The 82-time PGA Tour winner has been met with a mixed bag, making four cuts but having to withdraw over the weekend on two occasions.