The 14-time major champion Tiger Woods is playing at the Hero World Challenge after a prolonged absence of almost 16 months after two back surgeries.

Woods last play was in August 23, 2015. Since then he focused on finishing his rehabilitation and postponed his comeback twice. Tiger Woods was more than welcomed in the Bahamas at Albany where he plans to win the World Hero Challenge.

Tiger Woods, pictured during Wednesday’s pro-am at the 2016 Hero World Challenge. Image Credit: Golf Week

After 15 months off competitions, Tiger Woods is globally watched as one of the best golf players in modern era. It is understandable if Woods does not make it to the first ten since he has been in bed for a while, but the player is as ambitious as ever and said he hopes to win.

Tiger Woods is currently the 898th golf player in the ranking, but that has not stopped sponsors and the public eye to fix their interest in the American player. Woods’ priority is to get through the week and do his best not to disappoint. The Hero World Challenge is his first tournament before the 2017 season, where everybody hopes to see his characteristic talent.

Woods introduced himself back in the game this fall when he agreed to be vice-captain for the United States’ Ryder Cup team. He then postponed his return as a player twice and finally, at the Hero World Challenge, the world has the chance to see him play again.

The event is more than perfect for a comeback after so many months out of the game since Woods is the host of the Hero World Challenge and his charity, the Tiger Woods Foundation, benefits from it financially. This is the second time the event is played at the Bahamas. Ten players of the Team USA’s Ryder Cup are present and Bubba Watson will be defending his championship.   

Tiger Woods on his absence and the team’s welcome surprise

Woods explained that his knee and back did not suffer any nerve damage. Thus, he knew he could still play golf is he did everything doctor’s said. He mentioned the story of Davis Love and his neck surgery to fix his fingers which he stopped feeling. Woods said that in that case, with that kind of injury, a golf career could have been over. But Davis managed to recover, come back and win last year which inspired Tiger Woods not to give up.

“There was a lot of trepidation and times where I thought – I did think of [retirement] because it was realistic. Not being able to get out of bed, not being able to move, how can I expect to come out here and swing a golf club at 120 miles an hour and be ballistic when I can’t even get out of bed,” Tiger Woods told International Business Times U.K.

The talented golf player said that is a pleasant experience to be in the Bahamas with the team because of the fraternity bond they share. Woods stated that the dinners, texts, and phone calls he had during his long absence let him know his friends wanted him to come back or help the team in any way possible and they showed their excitement to have Woods at the Hero World Challenge with a surprise.

The USA Ryder Cup squad showed their love to his teammate Friday evening wearing red, white and blue onesies. The team then unzipped their funny clothes and showed Woods their red shirts that read: “Make Tiger Woods Great Again,” ESPN reported.

Tiger Woods said the team’s surprise shows the bond they share and wearing the onesies and that red shirt just made their relationship stronger.

Source: International Bussiness Times U.K.