Official "All We Care About Is That Tiger Woods Is Back" Hero World Challenge Preview

Hero World Challenge - Preview Day 3

It will be December by the time these guys tee off and I’m as excited as I was the night before the Ryder Cup. Adrenaline pumping. Mind racing. Hopes high. We haven’t seen the man, the myth, the legend Tiger Woods tee it up in competition in SIXTEEN MONTHS. And, when he did, he stunk.

Back surgeries. Press releases with words like “gravy” and “vulnerable.” Last-minute withdraws. We’ve once again been put through the ringer of dramatics with Tiger and, once again, here we are. On the precipice of yet another return. Here we are all huddled up on the edge of this cliff, eagerly ready to jump off screaming “HE’S FUCKING BACK BABY!”

(btw, buy a shirt and make sundays great again)

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(and a damn hat while you’re at it)

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The bottom line is this: no matter how much we talk about other players, about the new generation, about “the big three,” a one Eldrick Tiger Woods still drives the needle. Will always drive the needle. Look at the top 9 stories on Golf Channel’s homepage this week.

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Tiger hasn’t won a golf tournament since August 2013. He hasn’t won a major since June 2008. He hasn’t competed in a tournament since August 2015. And it feels like he hasn’t been healthy since the late 20th century.

But alas, he’s back. And he’s making eagles.

And his action looks good.

That quick twirl tho.

The Hero World Challenge

Hero World Challenge - Final Round

The Hero World Challenge is an 18-man tourney played in December for basically the sole purpose of making a ton of money for both the players and The Tiger Woods Foundation. It generates a little bit of excitement for fans at a time when no one’s thinking about golf, and it generates a ton of money to players when they’d typically be on vacation ($3.5 million purse). And it works.

In 2011 at the then-Chevron World Challenge, Tiger famously won his first tournament since the fire hydrant, sinking an 8-footer on the 72nd hole.

In 2013, Zach Johnson — tied with Tiger on the 72nd hole — dunked his second in the water before pulling this off and eventually winning in a playoff.

The Track

The Albany, New Providence course is a 2010 Ernie Els design. It’s in the Bahamas so it looks like… a course in the Bahamas.

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It’s a 7,400-yard, par 72 layout. It’s M.O. is open fairways, demanding iron shots, and consistent 15-20 mph wind. Bubba Watson won at 26-under par here last year, so it’s gettable.

Notable Holes

No clue. This place is a super-luxurious private resort. It’s got a 71-slip mega yacht marina, of course I don’t know anything about its notable holes.

Predictions

Hero World Challenge - Preview Day 3

Winning Score

Like I mentioned, guys have gone low here. 18-under didn’t even get you inside the top-5 last year. DFL was 4-under. I don’t think the winner will go as low as Bubba at -26 last year, so I’m saying -23, winning score. Book it.

Winner

Tiger Woods. Do I think he’s going to win? I mean, he’s +3000. But damn you if you think I’m going to come here, not predict Tiger to win, and then regret it for the rest of my life if he actually wins. I’d rather die on this hill in gruesome fashion than risk not being here if he wins. We’re Tiger or die ’round these here parts.

DFL

Steven Bowditch.

Final Thoughts

BUY BUY BUY

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Tiger tees off at noon tomorrow with American hero Patrick Reed. Live coverage starts on Golf Channel at 1:30 with live streaming on Golf Live Extra. Going to be a wild ride no matter how he plays. Anything that’s him not getting injured will be a huge, huge win. Let’s get back on the prowl.