There is now one fewer opportunity to see Tiger Woods in 2020 than there was this time last week. Tiger's 2020 Hero World Challenge -- scheduled for December in the Bahamas -- was canceled this week because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While it is a tiny field of players, the event normally provides a pretty great mid-winter viewing experience as 18 of the best players in the world engage in a fun four-day event in spectacular conditions.
Woods plays host to the event every year and normally plays in it as well. Past champions since it moved to Albany Golf Course five years ago include Bubba Watson, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama and Henrik Stenson. Here is the official announcement from the Tiger Woods' TGR Foundation.
Given the current global restrictions and ongoing developments resulting from COVID-19, the 2020 Hero World Challenge will not be played this year. This decision was made with the health and well-being of all tournament constituents and the Albany community in mind. We look forward to hosting 18 of the top players in the world and welcoming tournament guests to Albany, Bahamas next year.
Because of this news, it's probable that Tiger will only play two more events the rest of 2020. The first will be this week at Sherwood Country Club in California, where he's won, coincidentally, the Hero World Challenge five different times. The other is the Masters, which will take place in three weeks. Then we likely will not see him again until the calendar turns to 2021.
It's been a strange year for everyone in golf, and maybe Tiger most of all. Coming into 2020 after two wins in 2019 -- including a fifth green jacket -- expectations were fairly high, and he has not really met them. After a T9 at the Farmers Insurance Open in January, Woods was injured off and on before the pandemic hit, and he has not been sharp since returning in the middle of the summer.
While the Hero World Challenge is not the most competitive event in the world, it would have been a good opportunity for him to get some reps and possibly grab some momentum going into 2021. However, we'll likely only see him twice in the next four weeks and then probably not again for another two months as another calendar year -- hopefully a better one than 2020 -- gets underway.