Woodsfinished in a tie for ninth that day, having shown encouraging flashes of class which brought himto a lead in the second round of the event in the Bahamas. Throughout 2017, Woods has kept fans updated on his progress following his fourth operation on his back since April. Having endured pain so severe that he was unable to walk, Woods recently wrote a long post addressed to fans on his website which promised that he was aiming to feature heavily in 2018’s majors.
“I feel I’ve taken it to another level,” Woods wrote.“I’ve started practicing again and was out with Justin the other day and had a good time. I’m continuing to progress and trying to get strong enough to where I can handle a workload again. I would love to play a full schedule in 2018. What that entails, including back-to-back events, I don’t know. I just have to continue to work on my body and game and see where I pan out. I wish I knew where I was going to play and when I was going to play – it’s a lot easier to prep for that – but we really don’t know. This is all unchartered territory.”
Given his lengthy spell on the side-lines and personal issues which has made him the forgotten man of golf, some had speculated that we may never see the return of Woods at all. While the former world number one was reluctant to give any indication of his return to high-level competition, it was anybody’s guess if we would see him at the PGA Utah Open, The Players Championship or simply an appearance at his Hero World Challenge. The legend’s 2017 address to readers suggested that we may see the return of the 42-year-old as soon as February this year.
"The biggest surprise for me was finding out that I had the lead after 27 holes,"Woods wrote about his sole appearance at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. "I knew I was close after I eagled the ninth. It was nice to have played well enough to do that after being gone so long.
“One way or another, I will be at Riviera Country Club in February for the Genesis Open," Woods added, much to the delight of fans. "It’s such an historic site and the course will always have special meaning for me. That’s where it all started back in 1992 when I played in my first PGA Tour event at age 16. My foundation now runs the tournament and it will be great to return to my old stomping grounds. I greatly appreciate Genesis’s support of the event and the TWF."
While there is little optimism of seeing the return of the old Tiger Woods in 2018, interest in the multiple-championship winning golf icon is still pretty high. According to reports by NBC/Golf channel, Woods’ appearance at November’s tournament drew the highest television ratings of any first round in a tournament (excluding the Ryder Cup) since the British Open. It seems Mr Woods still has a considerable fanbase.Updated Date: 31 December 2017, 21:38