Sunday 11 December 2016

Woods takes centre stage in Caribbean comeback

James Corrigan

Published 01/12/2016 | 02:30

Tiger Woods of the United States plays a tee shot on the 16th hole during the pro-am ahead of the Hero World Challenge. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods of the United States plays a tee shot on the 16th hole during the pro-am ahead of the Hero World Challenge. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Even the professionals competing in the Australian PGA will be checking what is happening in a meaningless 18-man end-of-season dollar-fest in the Bahamas.

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As Adam Scott explained there is a very good reason for this: Tiger Woods is playing his first competitive round in more than 16 months.

At 12pm local time, Woods will tee off in the first round of the Hero World Challenge, and it is fair to say that the game of golf will be feeling high indeed at this particular noon.

Stray

Although a home victory would mean so much to Scott, he admitted his focus will stray from Sydney to the Caribbean.

"I'll put the TV on to watch Tiger's comeback, for sure," Scott said. "It's the most interesting story in golf really this week and I'm very interested to see how he goes."

In yesterday's Pro-Am, Woods looked well, making two eagles in his first nine holes and finishing with an unofficial 70. There was no sign of the spinal agonies that required three operations.

"I felt good with pretty much everything," Woods said. "I was be able to hit all the shots I needed to."

His caddie Joe LaCaca concurred, saying: "That's as good as he can hit a golf ball, I would say. That was solid."

It will be tougher today, particularly because of the competition. He is ranked 898th in the world and the next highest in the field is Zach Johnson at No 38.

Woods is rated only a 33/1 chance to win his first event in four seasons.

"It's a tall order since I've been away from the game for so long and I've made a lot of changes in my game, but the mindset's still the same - and that's to try to beat these guys," he said.

Hero World Challenge,

Live, Sky Sports 4, 6.0pm

Telegraph.co.uk

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