Tiger Woods comeback: Wednesday pro-am offers tantalizing preview

Tiger Woods’ comeback begins in earnest just after noon ET Thursday, when he tees off in the Hero World Challenge at Albany resort in the Bahamas.

But his play in Wednesday’s pro-am at the limited-field PGA Tour event offered a tantalizing preview — mostly good — of what’s to come.

His front nine included an eagle and two birdies, while he appeared a bit rusty around the greens and chipping. It took him until No. 14 to record a birdie on his back nine, potential proof that his game remains a work in progress. In fact, as the long pro-am round wore on, Woods took to practicing extra on his short game while his four amateur partners played, according to Golf Channel.

Still, Golf Channel described his day this way: “Not a whole lot of stress. Smooth, easy sailing … Just the way a Wednesday should be.”

amiable attitude

remarkably pain-free swing

Best estimates were that Woods finished the pro-am round at 3 or 4 under. Golf Channel noted that he he all but one fairway in his round. 

It is nine months since Woods, 41, last played competitively, but he will tee it up Thursday alongside PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas as the headline act of a small but stellar field at Albany’s 7,300-yard layout.

After his round Wednesday, he mained his wry sense of humor when asked about his Thursday playing partner, Thomas.

Woods hasn’t won a tournament since 2013 (when he won five), and it may be unrealistic to expect him to contend right away, but the way he is swinging the club this week offers optimism that he may finally be back to stay.

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