Tiger Woods teeing off Hero World Challenge midday with Justin Thomas

Tiger Woods teeing off Hero World Challenge midday with Justin Thomas

Tiger Woods will make his return at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas this week (not sure if you guys knew this), and he will be paired with Justin Thomas to kick things off on Thursday.

While 17 of the 18 players in the field will be ranked inside the top 50 in the world rankings, Woods, who is ranked No. 1,199, will be appearing for the first time in a tournament since February 3 or almost 10 months, following a fourth surgery on his back. From Woods' perspective, the quality-of-life element of being pain-free is evident. Being in a great mental place may be an even better sign for Woods since golf is an extremely mental sport and he has gone through so many distractions recently.

"I'm looking forward to competing again and trying to find the rhythm and feel of tournament golf".

"The fact I don't have any pain in my lower back compared to what I was living with for years, it's just remarkable", said Woods, who hasn't played competitively since back spasms forced his withdrawal from the Dubai Desert Classic in February.

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At the 18th, Woods outdrove Hazeltine Ryder Cup winning Reed by all of 60 yards, showing no signs of any back concern by going 100 per cent in every shot and not flinching at all, even in picking-up a tee.

"I was impressed with how far [Woods] hit the ball", Faxon wrote in a Golfweek column after the famous foursome's best-ball match. "The ball flight, the sound off the club, all of it was right there". First, Rickie Fowler suggested Tiger was hitting it by him during practice rounds and then accounts surfaced from Woods' round with President Donald Trump and Dustin Johnson last Friday that he was outpacing the world No. 1 off the tee.

Not only did Faxon praise the long hitting and power for Woods, but spoke highly of his short game.

"I've progressed over a few days, hitting driver a little hard and harder and harder until it was comfortable enough to hit it full", Woods said about the evolution of his current swing. "It's been a struggle for years", Woods said. I am stiffer, I'm fused. "I haven't really done much".

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