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Excited Tiger announces his return after nine-month lay-off

 

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On course: Tiger Woods will play in the World Challenge. Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

On course: Tiger Woods will play in the World Challenge. Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Getty Images

On course: Tiger Woods will play in the World Challenge. Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Tiger Woods is to play his first tournament in nine months after selecting himself for the Hero World Challenge at the end of November.

The 14-time Major winner, who hosts the tournament in the Bahamas, is to return following back surgery which has kept him out of competitive action since he withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic at the start of February.

Woods underwent a fourth back operation in three years in April, and earlier this month the 41-year-old's agent Mark Steinberg said he had been cleared to resume full golf activity following a check-up with his surgeon.

Woods announced his participation in his own tournament with a post on Twitter which read: "I'd like to thank the committee of one for picking myself and Daniel Berger to play in this year's #HeroWorldChallenge."

In a statement on his official website, Woods said: "I am excited to return to competitive golf at the Hero World Challenge.

"Albany is the perfect setting and it will be great to join this outstanding field. I want to thank Pawan Munjal and Hero MotoCorp for their continued support of this tournament and my foundation. I would also like to thank the fans for their unwavering support during my injury."

Woods, whose TGR Live organisation manages the Hero World Challenge, is joined in the field of 18 by Berger, who won his second PGA tournament this year and represented the United States in the Presidents Cup.

The field also includes the world's current top four ranked players - Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama and Justin Thomas.

Woods was last week placed on probation for a year after pleading guilty to reckless driving. He was also ordered to undergo a diversion programme after being found by police officers passed out in his car with prescription drugs in his system on May 29.

Woods appeared at Palm Beach County Courthouse on October 27 where he was fined $250 (£190), ordered to pay $250 to Palm Beach County Victim Services, told to attend a driving school and complete 50 hours' community service.

The Hero World Challenge runs from November 30 to December 3.

Meanwhile, England's Paul Casey will rejoin the European Tour next season, ending a three-year absence in a bid to return to the Ryder Cup.

The 40-year-old, who will also play on the PGA Tour, said he "missed contributing to English golf, which is very important to me".

Belfast Telegraph