Tiger Woods to return in Hero World Challenge, first tournament since April surgery: Why it’s significant

Tiger Woods is slated to play in and host the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3. The return marks his first tournament since withdrawing from the Masters in April. Here’s what you need to know:

What does this mean for Woods?

By the time Woods withdrew from the 2023 Masters and needed such serious surgery last spring, there was pessimism that he’d ever return to playing golf at a high level. Too much had happened to his body, and this setback seemed like further evidence he might scale back. But no, recent clips of him carrying his son Charlie’s bag for 18 holes and playing practice rounds show Woods moving far, far better than he had in the two years playing after his horrific car accident.

Nobody is expecting Woods to go out and win or compete for major tournaments any time soon, but it’s very encouraging that Woods may be healthy and more comfortable than he was this spring. — Brody Miller, staff golf writer

Why does 47-year-old Woods playing matter?

For starters, Woods is the largest figure in the sport, and for so many golf fans watching him play means something. Even when he’s hobbled, seeing the player of a generation is flat out cool. But more than that, Woods’ place in the sport is actually still gaining steam.

He’s been added to the PGA Tour policy board, which was a crucial additional vote for players, and his new TGL golf league led by him and Rory McIlroy is another important product for the PGA Tour going forward. So Woods being healthy enough to actually play in TGL and at least appear in majors and his tournaments helps boost that importance in a time of turmoil for the tour. — Miller

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(Photo: Andrew Redington / Getty)

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