We’ve seen this movie before.
Tiger Woods is returning to competitive golf at the Hero World Challenge, his event, and will compete in an 18-man field in the Bahamas. If that sounds familiar, the exact same phrasing was used 12 months ago when Woods returned to competitive golf at the 2016 event.
As his health and off-the-course life have kept his priorities fluctuating over much of the past decade, Woods has “returned” to competition numerous times, with varying success. Will this one be different? We’ll find out this week. For now, here’s how Woods has fared in his various returns to the competitive landscape.
After finishing second at the Masters, Woods is told by doctors that he has a fractured tibia, and that he should be on crutches instead of playing golf. Woods elects to play the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, and goes on to win, beating Rocco Mediate in one of the most memorable events in golf history.
After reconstructive surgery, Woods returns at the WGC-Match Play in March 2009, falling to Tim Clark 4 and 2 in the second round. He would go on to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational later that month.
Woods’s public scandal in late 2009 kept him away from the PGA Tour, but he made his return on a big stage: the Masters. He plays four solid rounds at Augusta National but finishes tied for fourth as Phil Mickelson wins his third green jacket.
After spraining his media collateral ligament hitting off pine straw at the Masters, Woods has a stop-and-go spring that includes a WD at the Players. Having missed both the U.S. and British Opens, he returns at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, finishing tied for 37th.
Woods underwent back surgery for the first time in late March, missing the Masters and U.S. Open. He returns at his event, the Quicken Loans National, in late June, missing the cut after rounds of 74 and 75. He goes on to finish 69th at the British Open, WD at the WGC-Bridgestone and miss the cut at the PGA Championship.[gallery:13664870]
Back pain and chip yips lead to a rocky start for Woods in 2015, but he returns to play in the Masters and, thanks to a sporty 68 on Saturday, finishes tied for 17th.
All eyes are on Woods at the Hero World Challenge, where he’s returning for the first time since multiple additional back surgeries. Though he finishes tied for 15th out of 17, finishing 14 strokes behind Hideki Matsuyama, Woods leads the field in birdies. That comeback is short-lived, however, as Woods plays at Torrey Pines before withdrawing from a European Tour event in Dubai. He would have fusion surgery just months later.