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Tiger Woods commits to play Hero World Challenge, first start since Masters WD

Tiger Woods is set to return to competitive golf.

After months of speculation, Woods confirmed Saturday that he will play the Hero World Challenge, the event he hosts in the Bahamas, in two weeks. It will be his first competitive action since he withdrew during the third round of this year’s Masters and underwent subtalar-fusion surgery on his right ankle two weeks later.

Along with Woods, Justin Rose and Lucas Glover were added to complete the 20-man field that will compete Nov. 30-Dec. 3 at Albany. Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, two previous commits, are no longer listed in the field.

Woods hasn’t played the Hero since a solo-fourth finish in 2019. He withdrew from last year’s event at Albany with plantar fasciitis in his right foot.

The 15-time major champ has battled numerous ailments to his right leg after severely injuring it in a February 2021 car accident. He returned to the PGA Tour for the 2022 Masters and finished 47th, but in limited starts since he had struggled with the mere task of walking.

This latest surgery aimed to fix the pain in Woods’ ankle, and Woods told The Associated Press recently that it had succeeded, even if he still had other issues.

“My ankle is fine,” Woods told AP. “Where they fused my ankle, I have absolutely zero issue whatsoever,” Woods said Tuesday. “That pain is completely gone. It’s the other areas that have been compensated for. ... All the surrounding areas is where I had all my problems and I still do. So you fix one, others have to become more hypermobile to get around it, and it can lead to some issues.”

Woods caddied four rounds for son, Charlie, in a junior event a few weeks ago and said, “I’m pretty sore. ... It was a flat course, thank God.”