Woods to Make Long Awaited Debut at the Hero World Challenge

Tiger Woods makes his return in his 18-man event.

Former top ranked golfer Tiger Woods has been away from the golf course for the past 15 months due to a series of back and knee injuries that required surgery. Due to his absence and his level of play before being sidelined by the injuries, Woods has dropped in the world golf rankings, and isn’t considered the same player he was before. However, he plan s on making his return to competitive golf this week at the Hero World Challenge. If you’re interested in placing some wagers on the tournament, you can find top U.S. Golf odds at MyBookie.

While a lot of golf fans around the world are eagerly anticipating Woods’ return, some of the top golfers in the world are also waiting to see if Woods still has what it takes to win on the PGA Tour.

Ernie Els, who has competed against Woods since he turned pro, told reporters he is curious to see what is going on inside Woods’ head. Els said he knows the talent is still there, but he is curious to see if Woods still has the mental edge to be successful. He further explained saying a player like Woods, who has enjoyed a lot of success on the golf course, find it difficult to be successful when they realize they aren’t the same as they used to be.

Els and Woods have a golfing relationship that dates back 20 years. The South African was one of the people Woods sought out for advice when he was thinking about turning pro. Els also had a lot of battles with Woods on the golf course, and finished second to Woods in seven tournaments, which is the most of any golfer.

Els, who designed the course Woods will be making his return on, said he plans to be in the Bahamas to see how Woods does in his first tournament in over a year.

The Hero World Challenge is a small tournament with an 18 man field and no cut. However the tournament still draws a lot of attention, and will get even more attention this year thanks to Woods.

Like Els, Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III is excited to see Woods return to the golf course. Love, who is close friends with Woods, said Woods sent him videos of him practicing his swing, and is excited about returning to the golf course.

Despite his advancing age, Woods can take comfort in the fact that Love, who is 51-years-old, and Els, who is 47, are still playing very well and winning tournaments despite no longer being in their prime.

Even though Woods holds himself to a higher standard, he has to understand that he isn’t going to be the player he once was. Even if he didn’t have injuries that required major surgery, he still wouldn’t be as good as he was in his prime because his skills would have naturally declined with his age.

Woods still has a chance to tie Jack Nicklaus for the most major wins in PGA Tour history, but he needs to accept his limitations before he can move forward with his game. Els believes playing well at the Hero World Challenge is the first step.

2 thoughts on “Woods to Make Long Awaited Debut at the Hero World Challenge”

  1. Eric:

    I enjoyed watching Tiger in his prime. Fourteen majors by age 32 is quite impressive.

    While his Thanksgiving incident in 2009 is often credited with the start of his downfall, I suggested in a post on this website (probably in mid 2010) that his loss to YE Yang was mentally devastating to his golf game.

    You were quite dismissive of my suggestion that Tiger would never win another major because Yang had exposed that Tiger was no longer invincible when leading entering the final round of major. It is also well known that Tiger has never come from behind entering the final round of a major.

    Now it is hard for me see that he will ever win another regular PGA Tour event. (The Hero Challenge does not count). His competitive juices will not overcome his mental demons.

    I’ll probably watch some of Thursday’s play, but Tiger burned out early just like Arnie did.

  2. Tiger’s performance at the Hero World Challenge proves that he still needs a lot of work. Its’ really obvious that he is not hitting the weights really hard due to his back injury and this definitely plays a part in his recovery between rounds.

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