Woods hitting shots again, eyes December return

It might not sound that newsworthy that the world’s No. 17 best player has started a few full swings of the golf club – again.

Except that this player is none other than Tiger Woods, who has not been spotted playing any serious golf since early August.

Tiger Woods Tiger Woods (Credit: Anthony Powter)

While the former world No 1.’s ranking has slumped to 17, he did only resume playing in June following back surgery and after playing just four events succumbed to another back problem

And he’s been absent from the tour ever since.

Reports have now revealed Woods is hitting full shots on the range again with a view to resuming competition at his foundation’s Hero World Challenge, in Orlando, Florida from December 4-7.

According to Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg, Tiger is “hitting balls and doing as much as he feels good with.”

Woods withdrew during the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and a week later missed the cut at the US PGA Championship, so he played his last competitive round on August 8.

That including excluding himself from selection as a wildcard in the US Ryder Cup team that lost to Europe at Gleneagles in Scotland last month.

“The design was to start making golf swings either late September or early October, then if I started early October I’d have two full months to prepare to play the Hero World Challenge,” Woods explained.

“I’m right on that timeline now, so that’s perfect.”

Woods has also defended his decision to return to competitive play so soon after the initial back surgery.

“I felt good enough to do it, and the only unfortunate part is I couldn’t maintain the conditioning,” he said.

“So as the tournament would wear on, I would get more and more fatigued and tired, and I wasn’t as explosive, I wasn’t as strong.

“Eventually the game started to deteriorate a little bit because physically I wasn’t in good enough shape to maintain it.”