When Tiger Woods steps onto the first tee at the Hero World Challenge on Thursday at Albany Golf Club in Nassau, Bahamas, it will have been 466 days since he last hit a competitive golf shot.
In between, Woods has undergone multiple surgeries on his back, setbacks in his recovery and delayed his return to competitive golf for more than a month. But on Dec. 1, Woods will officially be back and he says he is now totally ready to be back on the golf course competing.
"I'm ready to go," Woods told USA Today's Steve DiMeglio on the range at Albany Golf Club on Sunday.
"I have way more shots now, because I've played way more golf," said Woods of his decision to push back his return from the Safeway Open in October to now. "I only had a handful of shots back then. And you just saw a session where I hit everything. And I had control of everything. I can hit all the shots now, on call."
Woods pointed to the lack of reps on the course as well as mental fatigue from his time as assistant captain on the United States Ryder Cup team as reasons for his withdrawal just days before the Safeway.
Now, with a new golf ball in play -- the Bridgestone 330S -- and club testing an ongoing saga as he looks to find his groove without Nike, Woods is ready to make his 2016 golf debut. Woods is confident, but isn't lacking any nerves going into Thursday's opening round in the Bahamas.
"Yes, I'm nervous," said Woods. "I'm nervous for every tournament I play in, whether it's after a layoff, or six in a row, or a major. I care. If I care, I'm nervous. And it's good to be that way. To have that nervous energy and channel it, into aggression, into focus, into concentration, that's good stuff. If I wasn't nervous, that would mean I didn't care. I don't want to be out there flat. I want to be out here so bad. And now I am."
We'll find out just how much rust -- mentally and physically -- Woods has to knock off on Thursday, but golf fans everywhere will be thrilled just to have the Big Cat back on the prowl.