Following a 10-month injury sabbatical, Tiger Woods returns to competitive golf in less than a week at the Hero World Challenge. Judging by the latest reports on his comeback efforts, the 41-year-old is ready to roll.
Woods played a practice round with President Donald Trump, Dustin Johnson and former US PGA Tour player Brad Faxon on Friday at Trump’s club in Jupiter, Florida. Speaking with Golfweek, Faxon relayed his observations from the star-studded pairing, specifically his takeaways on the state of Woods’ game. According to Faxon, the 14-time Major winner “looks great.”
“He was happy and, more than anything, he’s finally pain-free,” said Faxon. “The issues he had with the back the last couple of comebacks seem to be gone. He looked effortless, he looked free, he had some power.”
Alluding to Rickie Fowler’s remarks that Woods was hitting it “way by” him, Faxon seconded the driving power displayed by Tiger.
“I was impressed with how far he hit the ball,” Faxon said. “Probably on the 10 holes that they were both hitting driver, Tiger hit it past Dustin half the time and Dustin hit it past Tiger half the time. He looked great. I think more than anything, he looked at ease. He was not concerned about swinging hard and going at it with driver. The ball flight, the sound off the club, all of it was right there.”
Perhaps most impressively, Faxon noted that Woods’ short game was up to snuff.
“On the very first hole he hit a pitch shot over a bunker that looked great,” Faxon said. “Hit some tough little pitch shots, tough chip shots and hit some close. Some to gimme’ distance.”
Of course, given Woods’ ominous comments just months ago at Liberty National regarding his future, it’s understandable if fans are taking these reports with a grain of salt. Luckily, they won’t have to wait much longer to see for themselves, as Woods will be inside the ropes this Thursday in the Bahamas. It will be his first appearance since withdrawing from the Dubai Desert Classic in February.