Tiger Woods May Participate in Hero World Challenge
Golf fans are eagerly awaiting the return of Tiger Woods to the PGA Tour, and there is a glimmer of hope that he may make a comeback at the Hero World Challenge in late November. The exclusive tournament, hosted by Woods in the Bahamas, announced its field earlier this week, leaving one spot open. The announcement stated that the final tournament exemption would be announced at a later date, sparking speculation that Woods himself could take that spot.
Woods, who hasn’t played competitively since withdrawing from the Masters in April, underwent foot/ankle surgery earlier this year and has been in a recovery process. However, his recent sighting at Pebble Beach hitting iron shots has fueled hopes that he may be ready to return to the course soon.
The Hero World Challenge is set to feature an impressive field of golf stars. Among the confirmed participants are 17 players in the top 24 of the world rankings and 14 Ryder Cup participants. The U.S. Ryder Cup team members who compete on the PGA Tour, with the exception of Brooks Koepka, will be present. Notable names to look out for include Scottie Scheffler, world No. 1, and Viktor Hovland, the defending champion of the Hero World Challenge.
Two first-time major winners, Wyndham Clark and Brian Harman, will make their debut in the tournament. Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas, who were captain’s picks for the Ryder Cup, have also been granted exemptions.
The final tournament exemption is still up for grabs, and Woods will have the authority to determine who receives it. Woods last played in the Hero World Challenge in 2019, and the event was canceled the following year due to the pandemic. He then suffered severe injuries in a car crash in February 2021, which further disrupted his career.
Woods has had a history of back issues, but this time it was his right leg that sustained significant damage. Post-traumatic arthritis resulting from the car crash led to his withdrawal from this year’s Masters. However, Woods is known for his resilience and determination to return to the sport he loves. If he is unable to make his comeback at the Hero World Challenge, another prominent golfer may receive the coveted spot.
The Hero World Challenge is an important event on the PGA Tour schedule and offers world rankings points to its participants. Although it is a small-field, no-cut event, it does not count toward the tour’s FedEx Cup standings. The tournament only awards sponsor exemptions to players in the top 50 of the world rankings, but there is an exception for the tournament host, giving Woods the opportunity to participate if he chooses.
As golf enthusiasts eagerly await the final announcement, the hope of seeing Tiger Woods back on the course again is keeping the excitement alive. Whether he takes that spot or not, the Hero World Challenge promises to be a thrilling event with some of the world’s best golfers showcasing their skills.