Tiger Woods is expected to get inside the ropes for the first time in nearly 16 months starting Thursday at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. The 14-time major champion returns after a third back surgery that has kept him sidelined since the 2015 Wyndham Championship.
What is the Hero World Challenge?
The 18-player tournament sanctioned by the PGA Tour and hosted by Tiger Woods has a $3.5 million purse (with $1 million going to the winner) and no cut. Any cash earned does not count toward official PGA Tour records. A victory doesn't go into the official wins list. A Masters invitation, FedEx Cup points or a two-year PGA Tour exemption isn't in the cards, either. The event does, however, award world ranking points.
Woods hasn't played in a PGA Tour event since his T-10 finish at the 2015 Wyndham Championship. He has fallen to 898th in the world rankings and had been slated to return at the Safeway Open in October but announced his game wasn't ready for the PGA Tour stage and withdrew just days after entering the tournament field.
Tiger is slated to play in the Wednesday pro-am starting at 8:30 a.m. ET. His opening-round tee time is scheduled for noon on Thursday and he is paired with Patrick Reed.
Who is playing?
Three of the four major champions in 2016, all three men's Olympic medalists, six of the top 10 in the world rankings and 16 of the top 30. The field includes: Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson, Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka, Russell Knox, Jimmy Walker, Matt Kuchar, Emiliano Grillo, Louis Oosthuizen, J.B. Holmes, Brandt Snedeker, Tiger Woods and Zach Johnson.
Where can you watch it?
Thursday and Friday, 1:30-4:30 p.m. ET, Golf Channel; Saturday, noon-2:30 p.m. ET, Golf Channel and 2:30-5 p.m. ET on NBC; Sunday, 11 a.m. -1 p.m. ET, Golf Channel and 1-4 p.m. ET on NBC.
Two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson earned a 3-shot victory in 2015 over Reed.
The venue for the 18th hosting of this event is at the Albany Championship Golf Course in the Bahamas. The par-72 layout can be stretched to 7,267 yards and was designed by four-time major champion Ernie Els.
Getting ready for Tiger's return
-- Bob Harig: Can Tiger Woods find a comfort zone?