Finally, the expectation that has kept every single golf fan on the edge of their seat for months is over. Tiger Woods is returning to competitive action, and it is less than two weeks away.
Woods confirmed this Saturday, November 18, that he will be playing in the 2023 Hero World Challenge, of which he is also the main host. The event will take place in Albany, The Bahamas, from November 30 to December 3.
This confirmed the rumors that Tiger Woods would choose precisely that tournament for his return. Woods had informed the field several weeks ago, leaving a spot open for a player to be announced later. Fans hoped he was saving it for himself, which turned out to be true.
Woods had been away from the courses for more than six months. His last official opening was The Masters in 2023, from which he withdrew due to ailments.
The announcement of Woods' return to a high-level competitive event was accompanied by other news. Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele withdrew from the Hero World Challenge, their place will be taken by Justin Rose and Lucas Glover.
The final field for the 2023 Hero World Challenge is as follows:
- Scottie Scheffler
- Viktor Hovland
- Max Homa
- Matt Fitzpatrick
- Brian Harman
- Wyndham Clark
- Jordan Spieth
- Cameron Young
- Keegan Bradley
- Collin Morikawa
- Tony Finau
- Sam Burns
- Jason Day
- Sepp Straka
- Will Zalatoris
- Rickie Fowler
- Justin Thomas
- Justin Rose
- Lucas Glover
- Tiger Woods.
A look into notable absences in 2023 Hero World Challenge hosted by Tiger Woods
The Hero World Challenge is an invitational tournament organized by the Tiger Woods Foundation. However, as a general rule, invitations are issued to the winners of the four Majors of the previous season and to players available among the highest ranked in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR). There are also sponsor exceptions.
Several absences stand out for the 2023 edition. Rory McIlroy (ranked second in the OWGR) and Jon Rahm (3rd) will not be at The Bahamas. Neither will Brooks Koepka, winner of the 2023 PGA Championship.
Tom Kim (11th) and Tyrrell Hatton (12th) will also not compete in the Hero World Challenge. In the same situation are Tommy Fleetwood (15th) and Cameron Smith (19th). All these players are better placed in the ranking than others who will play in the event.
The above cases are joined by Cantlay and Scauffele (5th and 6th, respectively). Both haven't made public the reasons for their withdrawal so far.
The 2023 edition will be the 24th edition of the Hero World Challenge. Woods holds the record for most wins with five. The list of multi-winners also includes Davis Love III, Graeme McDowell and Viktor Hovland.
The tournament record for a round is held by Rickie Fowler (61, 2017). The aggregate record is held by Jordan Spieth since his win in 2024 (262).