Tiger Woods is making his return to competitive golf this week at the Hero World Challenge, and if the rumors are to be believed, he could have a legitimate shot at the trophy.
As will the rest of the golf world when Woods sticks a peg in the ground on Thursday, the start of the 18-player, no-cut contest in the Bahamas.
Thomas, who is paired with Woods in the first round, spends a fair bit of time with the 14-time major champion at their Florida homes, and they played a few weeks ago.
Of the round, Faxon remarked: "He was happy and, more than anything, he is finally pain-free".
However, there does appear to be a big difference as Woods prepares to make this latest much-anticipated comeback and that is the fact his latest surgery involved his lower back being fused, whereas the previous ones entailed microdiscectomy. He looked great. I think more than anything, he looked at ease.
By all accounts, it seems like Tiger is finally ready for a full comeback onto the PGA TOUR and the Hero Challenge was the flawless spot to return.
"I witnessed first-hand what Fowler saw - a pain-free Tiger that looked like he was able to hit the golf ball and will be able to be in the mix again", Faxon concluded.
Tiger Woods hits a tee shot at the Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas. Lynne Sladky
At the 18th, Woods outdrove Hazeltine Ryder Cup winning Reed by all of 60 yards, showing no signs of any back concern by going 100 per cent in every shot and not flinching at all, even in picking-up a tee.
After finishing 15th at Albany, an 18-man field, Woods would play just three more rounds, two at the Farmers Insurance Open and one at the Dubai Desert Classic, before heading back to his surgeon and the DL. "The ball flight, the sound off the club, all of it was right there".
"[At first] I just chipped [driver]".
Add Patrick Reed to the likes of DJ and Rickie Fowler as tour members Tiger has blown past as he prepares for his first competitive round since Dubai, and the victor of 79 tour victories should walk away with the trophy on Sunday, right?
NASSAU, Bahamas - Tiger Woods' first competitive round in almost 10 full months will take place Thursday, alongside a friendly playing partner yet unfamiliar opponent.
"It looked like there was a little hesitation the last time I played with him", Reed said. "It's been a struggle for years. He's been playing, I haven't been playing", Woods added.
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