Tiger wood’s past comebacks


Tiger Woods makes his latest competitive comeback this week at the Hero World Challenge, having experienced mixed fortunes in his previous returns from lengthy unplanned layoffs.

The 14-time major champion features as tournament host in the 18-man field in the Bahamas, his first appearance since withdrawing mid-event from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

Woods has seen his career plagued by injury in recent years and has undergone back surgery four times since 2014, with the former world No 1 since dropping outside of the world’s top 1,000.

The 41-year-old’s injury issues, combined with breaks for non-golf reasons, means his latest return is the 10th time Woods has reappeared from unscheduled absences of two months or longer.

Here’s a look back at how Woods has fared in his previous competitive comebacks…

2003 Buick Invitational

After undergoing knee surgery at the end of the 2002 campaign, Wood made a winning return from a 10-week layoff at the Buick International – later known as the Farmers Insurance Open.

The-then world No 1 posted back-to-back 68s to claim a four-shot victory over Carl Pettersson at Torrey Pines, the second of seven wins in the event and the first of five titles in 2003.

2006 US Open

Shortly after finishing tied-third at the Masters, Woods took a 10-week break from the sport to mourn the death of his father, Earl, from cancer.

Although Woods looked rusty and missed the cut by three at Winged Foot, he bounced back to defend his Open title a month later – the first of six victories in a seven-tournament stretch.

2009 WGC-Accenture Match Play

Woods overcame a double stress fracture of his left tibia and wrecked knee cartilage to hobble to victory at the 2008 US Open, before writing off the rest of the year to have reconstructive surgery on his left knee.

He eventually returned nine months later and suffered a second-round exit to Tim Clark in Arizona, but returned to the winner’s circle at Bay Hill a fortnight later and registered seven titles in 2009.

2010 Masters

Less than a month on from winning the Australian Masters, Woods announced he would take an “indefinite break” from golf for personal reasons after being caught out on a number of infidelities.

Woods ended his four-month hiatus at Augusta, where he finished five shots off the pace in a share of fourth, with the American going on to experience the first winless year of his professional career.

2011 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

Pain in his knee, Achilles and calf saw Woods post a front-nine 42 and withdraw mid-tournament from the Players Championship, with the-then world No 8 having to sit out of the next three months.

After missing two majors and dropping down to world No 28, Woods stuttered to a tied-37th finish in his competitive return in Ohio and some 18 strokes behind tournament winner Adam Scott.

2014 Quicken Loans National

Lower back spasms had forced Woods to withdraw during the final round of the Honda Classic and struggle through pain a week later at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, before undergoing surgery on a “pinched nerve” in his back.

Woods had lost his world No 1 status by the time he returned four months later with a missed cut at the Quicken Loans National, before battling back problems at The Open and pulling out mid-tournament from the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

2014 Hero World Challenge

A missed cut at the PGA Championship saw Woods fail to qualify for the FedExCup play-offs and ended his season, which gave him an extended spell to recover from back surgery.

The spell away did not improve Woods’ game as part of the 18-man field in the Bahamas, as he struggled with his short game on his way to finishing joint-bottom of the leaderboard.

2015 Masters

Non-activating glutes left Woods with a tight back and struggling to find his short game during the Farmers Insurance Open, where he walked off the course just 11 holes into his erratic opening round.

Taking time out to allow his body recover and work on his game proved positive for Woods, who produced a noticeably improved performance at Augusta to end in a share of 17th position.

2016 Hero World Challenge

Following a tied-10th finish at the 2015 Wyndham Championship, Woods underwent surgery for a disc fragment that was pinching his nerve and announced plans to return in “early 2016”.

Further surgery left Woods missing the entire 2015-16 PGA Tour season, with Woods eventually returning after a 15-month hiatus with a 15th-place finish in the Bahamas.

Although Woods made more birdies than any other player in the invite-only field, he ended the week 14 strokes adrift of runaway leader Hideki Matsuyama.

2017 Hero World Challenge

Woods has made the Albany his comeback destination for the third time in four years, with the now world No 1,199 telling reporters he feels in “fantastic” shape ahead of his latest return.


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