Mixed signs ahead of Tiger Woods' return to competition

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The Hero World Challenge, hosted by Woods in Albany, Bahamas, will include some of the best players in the world, such as Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, and Justin Thomas. "He looked effortless, he looked free, he had some power". He was not concerned about swinging hard and going at it with the driver. I was impressed with how far he hit the ball. he looked great.

Thomas, the reigning Player of the Year, will play with Tiger Woods during the first two rounds of the Hero World Challenge.

"I haven't really competed in nearly two years, really", Woods said. Being in a great mental place may be an even better sign for Woods since golf is an extremely mental sport and he has gone through so many distractions recently. He has never been great at trying to play within himself once the gun goes off but, according to Faxon anyway, the penny may finally have dropped in that respect. "The ball flight, the sound off the club, all of it was right there". On Sunday, Woods was asked about his swing.

Can Tiger crack the top 10 in his return
Can Tiger crack the top 10 in his return? Getty Images

In fact, Woods - a 33/1 outsider ahead of his reappearance - only teed up twice competitively this year: firstly, in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines where he missed the cut and then in Dubai. That was his only competitive outing of 2016. I haven't really done much. "It's been a struggle for years", he said.

"I am stiffer. I'm fused [following April's lumbar fusion], but I don't have the pain", added Woods, who was back on the tee Monday morning.

Woods explained that his surgeon initially cleared him to start hitting putts, which had been the most hard thing to do before the surgery, and he gradually made his way through his bag, first hitting driver just 150 yards. I haven't done much. "I'm looking forward to competing again and finding the rhythm and the feel of playing tournament golf and just hitting shots", said Woods, who was joined by caddie Joe LaCava on Sunday. "I don't want to make it sound like I'm saying he's going to win next week", Faxon said.

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