Tiger Completes Comeback
Tiger's back. There was no trophy in the Bahamas but there was something more tangible than silverware, a sense that the 41-year old, 14-time major champion still has more stories to write.
Dressed in his trademark red, Woods rolled back the years and gave his legion of fans an exciting glimpse of the future too. This was his first tournament outing since February and just seven months after undergoing back surgery, there seemed to be no throttling back on the speed and power of his still hypnotic swing.
In the final round of the Hero World Challenge, he unleashed a huge 330-yard drive onto the heavily guarded green of a short par four and then curled in a long-range putt for eagle. He raised his hands skywards in a trademark celebration.
He finished ten shots back from tournament winner Rickie Fowler but rounds of 69-68-75-68 ensured he beat half the 18-man strong field to finish ninth, including the likes of Justin Thomas and world number one Dustin Johnson. Woods is expected to make his 2018 debut at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in January, an event he has won seven times.
"I'm excited and it was great to get the the adrenaline back in my system," said Woods afterwards. "My expectations are we'll be playing next year."
The three time Champion Golfer spoke to the media before the tournament about his aspirations for 2018 and didn't hold back on his ambitions for The 147th Open at Carnoustie. "I'd love to play Carnoustie again as I played there in the Scottish Open in 1995 and 1999 in The Open," said Woods.
"Carnoustie can be a brutal golf course and it was brutal that year," he added. "It's just so tough, but it's all there in front of you. There are no tricks, there's nothing hidden. It's just come and get me."
"I won two of my Open Championship's in Scotland, and the other one in England so let's try and add another one in there," said Woods. As three-time Champion Golfer, Woods is already exempt for The Open in July 2018.
Rickie Fowler insists he will enter the New Year with renewed confidence after his win at the Hero World Challenge. Fowler birdied the first seven holes and completed the front nine in 28 shots on route to a stunning final round 61.
It's been three years since his remarkable 2014 season, when he finished all four majors in the top five, including a tie for second at The 143rd Open at Royal Liverpool. "If you look at winning as your only sense of success, you're going to deal with failure a lot," Fowler said afterwards. "Being in contention with your buddies and some of the best players in the world, if you keep doing that, trophies will fall into place," he added.