Tiger Woods ‘pleasantly surprised’ by return at Hero World Challenge

WASHINGTON, United States, Dec 3 – Tiger Woods says he been pleasantly surprised by his return to action after shooting a one-under-par 71 in round three at the Hero World Challenge.

The 15-time major champion is competing for the first time since withdrawing from the Masters in April with injury.

He is tied for 16th in the Bahamas on level par in the 20-man field, 16 shots behind leader Scottie Scheffler.

“I’m very pleasantly surprised at how I’ve recovered every day,” said Woods, 47.

“I still have the game; it’s whether the body can do it or not.”

His American compatriot Scheffler, the world number one, is three shots clear of England’s Matt Fitzpatrick after both players completed seven-under rounds of 65.

Woods began Saturday with two bogeys before birdies at the third, sixth eighth and ninth – where he got up and down from a greenside bunker.

He had two bogeys and a birdie on the back nine, which included a seven-foot par putt miss at the 18th.

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“It could have been a little bit better than the score indicates. I think I could have shot something in the high 60s today,” said Woods, who shot 75 and 70 in his opening rounds.

Woods had fusion surgery on a bone in his ankle to address post-traumatic arthritis following the 2021 car crash that kept him out of golf for nearly 14 months.

He said recently that he had “zero issues” with the ankle, but other injury problems – including with his back – remain.

Woods hopes to play one tournament per month in 2024 and that this event will help to determine his schedule for next season.

By BBC Sports 

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