Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy announce lengthy TGL delay due to dramatic venue collapse
Tiger Woods successfully completed his return to golf on Sunday when he finished even par at his own Hero World Challenge event in the Bahamas. The 15-time major champion came 18th out of a field of 20 but would have just been relieved to have completed his first event since The Masters at Augusta National back in April, following ankle surgery.
World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler was the eventual champion finishing 20 under par through 72 holes, further cementing his current standing at the pinnacle of the game.
But Woods was “ecstatic” to be back competing again, although he admitted that he still needs to get into better shape.
He told the Golf Channel: “I feel like my game’s not that far off but I need to get in better shape. I don’t have the bone pain that I did, but I still have to go through with the same protocols. It takes a long time, that’s the unfortunate thing about ageing.”
Woods will make his next appearance at PNC Championship – formerly the Father/Son Challenge – on December 14 alongside his son Charlie.
From thereon in, the former world No. 1 is planning to play one tournament a month. He said: “Once a month seems reasonable. It gives me a couple of weeks to recover and a week to tune up. Maybe I can get into the rhythm.”
Woods’ unmatchable standing in the game gives him the luxury of being able to pick and choose his events, including the Majors which he would receive invitations for automatically as a former winner of all four tournaments.
Express Sport has taken a look at which events he is likely to play in next year.
In January, Woods is likely to kick off his new campaign at The Sentry (formerly Tournament of Champions) tournament at Kapalua Golf on the Hawaiian island of Maui. The season-opening event gets underway on January 4.
February features a handful of popular PGA Tour events including the Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the Genisis Invitational and Riviera Country Club, but Tiger may likely appear at the Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale from February 8-11, where the bumper crowds create a unique atmosphere and the presence of Woods will take things to another level. Expect utter bedlam if he gets an ace on the now-infamous 16th hole, just like he did in 1997.
In March he will almost certainly turn out at The Players’ Championship at Sawgrass on March 14-17 – a tournament that is often referred to as the ‘fifth Major’.
April 11 sees the start of Major season and injury-permitting there can be no doubt that Woods will be part of the field that participates at Augusta National for The Masters. He is a five-time Green Jacket champion after all.
The PGA Championship will be held at Valhalla Golf Club on May 16-19, so we can expect to see Woods in Kentucky for the second Major of the year before he returns for the US Open at the Pinehurst Resort on June 13-16.
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When Woods last appeared in the Open Championship at St Andrews in 2022 he may have thought it could be his last appearance in the event on the Old Course, but he could be back in Scotland next July at least, when the 152nd edition of the fourth Major is played at Royal Troon.
From hereon in it becomes a little more difficult to predict Woods’ schedule but after an exhausting few months competing in the Majors, a rest could be in order before turning out at the BMW Championship at Castle Pines on August 22-25.
Should he fancy another trip back to Great Britain and a break from the PGA Tour, then Wentworth’s BMW PGA Championship on September 19-22 could be just the ticket and he may as well hang around on the British Isles for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at Carnoutise on October 3-6.
With no PGA Tour events scheduled, Woods might take it easy in November or choose to feature in a minor event, but he will almost certainly finish up where he started off last weekend at the Hero World Challenge in December. It is his own tournament after all.
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