Tiger Woods opens up on Hero World Challenge comeback: "I've knocked off a lot of rust"

Nassau, The Bahamas - Tiger Woods felt he had made significant progress after completing 72 holes in his latest comeback from injury in the Hero World Challenge.

Tiger Woods of the United States plays his shot from the 15th tee during the final round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course on December 3, 2023.
Tiger Woods of the United States plays his shot from the 15th tee during the final round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course on December 3, 2023.  © Mike Ehrmann / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Competing for the first time since undergoing ankle surgery after withdrawing from the Masters in April, Woods carded a closing 72 in the Bahamas to finish level par for the week and 18th in the 20-man field.

The 47-year-old recovered from a double bogey on the third with three birdies in the next four holes and also birdied the 14th and 15th after dropping shots on the eighth and 11th.

"I think I’ve come a long way," Woods told NBC.

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"From being a little bit rusty to playing four days and knocked off a lot of rust which was great, and just the physicality of actually playing and competing again – I haven’t done this in a while."

"It was nice to get out here with the guys, have some fun and compete. I wish I would have played a little cleaner, but there’s always next time."

Tiger Woods lays out future competition plans

Tiger Woods of the United States plays a shot on the third hole during the final round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course on December 3, 2023.
Tiger Woods of the United States plays a shot on the third hole during the final round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course on December 3, 2023.  © Mike Ehrmann / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Asked about his pre-tournament prediction that he could be able to play one tournament a month in 2024, Woods added: "If you ask me right now, I’m a little bit sore."

"But once a month seems reasonable. It gives me a couple of weeks to recover, a week to tune up. Maybe I can get into a rhythm. That’s what the plan was going into next year, and I don’t see why that would change."

In a separate interview with a group of reporters, Woods added: "Every day I got faster into the round. The first day took me a while to get a handle on it, second day was faster, today was right away."

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"And that’s eventually, when I play on a regular basis, that’s normally how it is."

"I think the best part of the week is the way I drove it. I drove it on pretty much a string all week. Granted, these fairways are big. I felt like I had my ball speed up, which was nice, and I was hitting the middle of the face the entire week, which is nice."

"So it’s not like I have to go and try and find something the next few weeks or something going into next year; what I’ve been working on is right there and maybe just [need to] tighten up a little bit."

Cover photo: Mike Ehrmann / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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