Two weeks after posting a video of himself advancing to hitting a driver in his rehab, Tiger Woods is officially coming back.
The 14-time major champion announced Monday afternoon that he will make his long-awaited return to competitive golf at the upcoming Hero World Challenge, Nov. 30-Dec 3.
Posting the announcement to Twitter, Woods joked that he’d like to “thank the committee of 1” for receiving one of two sponsor’s exemptions into the 18-player tournament for which he has served as the longtime host.
Woods hasn’t competed since withdrawing after the first round of the Dubai Desert Classic in February due to a lingering back injury. Less than two months later, he underwent a fourth career back surgery, which kept him sidelined for the remainder of the 2016-17 PGA Tour season.
“I am excited to return to competitive golf at the Hero World Challenge,” Woods said in a statement. “Albany is the perfect setting and it will be great to join this outstanding field.”
Woods made a similar return from injury at this same event last year, finishing in a share of last place among those who completed four rounds, but in a tie for the tournament lead in birdies with eventual champion Hideki Matsuyama.
A month later, Woods missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open, which was followed by the withdrawal in Dubai the next week.
Woods pleaded guilty Friday to reckless driving in a deal that will keep him out of jail as long as he stays out of trouble, resolving charges from an arrest last spring in which he was found passed out in his Mercedes on May 29 with prescription drugs and marijuana in his system.
Woods has said he had been self-medicating to relieve the pain from his fourth back surgery and insomnia.
For 683 weeks, including 281 consecutive, Woods was the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world, though his limited recent playing schedule currently finds him at No. 1171.
He will turn 42 years old less than four weeks after the final round of the Hero.
The tournament field of 18 is comprised of only players ranked among the top 50 in the world, but due to a 2015 rule change, Woods — as tournament host — can receive one of the sponsor exemptions regardless of his ranking.
Daniel Berger, winner of the FedEx St. Jude Classic and member of the winning United States Presidents Cup team, joined Woods to fill out the remaining two spots in the field.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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