Hero World Challenge primer: Everything you need to know about Tiger's return

Hero World Challenge primer: Everything you need to know about Tiger’s return

Tiger Woods’s latest return to competitive golf is inching closer.

The 41-year-old is set to resume his playing career when he tees it up at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas Nov. 30 to Dec. 3. It will be his first start since February, and, as always, all eyes will be on him.

What do you need to know to get ready for the 14-time major-winner’s return? We got you covered.

HISTORY

The tournament was first played in 1999 when it was called the Williams World Challenge and won by Tom Lehman. After several sponsor changes, it’s been called the Hero World Challenge since 2014. Jordan Spieth won by 10 in 2014 — the largest winning margin in history — and Bubba Watson won in 2015. Hideki Matsuyama is the defending champion heading into 2017’s event.

FORMAT

The Hero is an 18-hole, no-cut stroke-play event at Albany, Bahamas. It’s not an official PGA Tour event and is run by the Tiger Woods foundation.

2016 HERO

The major storyline for this year’s Hero is the same as last year—Woods’s much-anticipated return. When he played last year it was his first competitive round in nearly 16 months as he recovered from back surgeries. This year it will be his first start in nine months after yet another back surgery. Woods finished 15th out of 17 last year (the 18th competitor, Justin Rose, withdrew), in what was an up-and-down performance. He was four under eight holes into his opening round — and momentarily grabbed the co-lead — but finished with a one-over 73. He finished his week with rounds of 65, 70 and 76. While he led the field in birdies for the tournament he also recorded six double-bogeys (three on the par-4 18th hole).

TV SCHEDULE

The first two rounds on Thursday and Friday are scheduled to air live on Golf Channel from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET. Coverage for Saturday is 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Golf Channel and 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on NBC. Sunday coverage is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Golf Channel and finishes from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on NBC. Golf Channel will also increase its pre- and post-tournament coverage throughout the Hero.

THE VENUE

The course, designed by Ernie Els and Greg Letsche in 2010, is located at Albany Golf & Beach Resort. Here’s our travel guru Joe Passov’s take on the course Woods will look to conquer, and below is a photo gallery of Albany.

THE PURSE

The winner takes home $1 million of the $3.5 million purse.

TEE TIMES

Round 1 (ET)

11:10 a.m. — Hideki Matsuyama, Francesco Molinari
11:21 a.m. — Charley Hoffman, Kevin Chappell
11:32 a.m. — Patrick Reed, Daniel Berger
11:43 a.m. — Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood
11:54 a.m. — Henrik Stenson, Alex Noren
12:05 p.m. — Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas
12:16 p.m. — Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka
12:27 p.m. — Kevin Kisner, Rickie Fowler
12:38 p.m. — Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth

THE FIELD

Dustin Johnson
Jordan Spieth
Hideki Matsuyama
Justin Thomas
Rickie Fowler
Brooks Koepka
Matt Kuchar
Justin Rose
Alex Noren
Tommy Fleetwood
Francesco Molinari
Patrick Reed
Charley Hoffman
Kevin Kisner
Daniel Berger
Tiger Woods
Henrik Stenson
Kevin Chappell