The 14-time major champion underwent the procedure in April after withdrawing from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in February due to back spasms - and, although he admitted the recovery has been slow, he is happy with where he's at now.
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.
"Probably on the 10 holes that they were both hitting driver, Tiger hit it past Dustin half the time and Dustin hit it past Tiger half the time".
"Tiger is hitting a long way and hitting it effortlessly", Reed said. "I think more than anything, he looked at ease". 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. Even Faxon, in the role of a Tiger fanboy, suggested we pump the brakes just a tad on the Big Cat of yore regaining his championship form right off the bat. "I'm looking forward to competing again and finding the rhythm and the feel of playing tournament golf and just hitting shots", said Woods, who was joined by caddie Joe LaCava on Sunday. "I don't want to make it sound like I'm saying he's going to win next week". This is as good of a field as this tournament has ever had with eight of the top 10 players in the world in attendance (only Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy are not there).
Unless he was to qualify another way such as the FedExCup or world rankings, Woods would have to play sectional qualifying beginning in 2019.
"[At first] I just chipped [driver]".
Woods and Thomas have never played together on the PGA Tour. "But he's in a great place mentally and physically". The Hero World Challenge is an unofficial money event on the PGA Tour; Hideki Matsuyama is the defending champ. It's nice to do something like that and compete and have a couple little denominations [a bet] we're playing for.