Along with the walking, which was arguably the biggest challenge facing Woods in the Bahamas, he carded 19 birdies, 15 bogeys and two double bogeys, with his level-par score putting him 18th on the leaderboard, as he finished above US Open champion, Wyndham Clark, and Will Zalatoris, who was also making his first start in several months.
Prior to the event, Woods claimed that the "best scenario would be maybe a tournament a month (in 2024)" and, following 72 holes in Albany, the 47-year-old gave a positive update, stating that "there's no reason why I can't get into that rhythm," in regards to that one tournament a month claim.
"I mean, just like I said to you guys on Tuesday, I'm curious just like you guys what this is going to look like. I haven't done it in a while, I haven't done it with my ankle the way it is now and I was excited each and every day to kind of get through it and kind of start piecing rounds together again," explained Woods, who fired a level-par final round.
"I haven't done this in a long time so it was fun to feel that again. Every day I got faster into the round. The first day took me a while to get a handle on it, second day was faster, today was right away. And that's eventually, when I play on a regular basis, that's normally how it is. It takes me usually during warmup before I get a feel for the round. To be honest, that first day took me a while."
He went on to add: "Yeah. I think that I can get into the rhythm of it. I think that having a couple of weeks off to recover, a week to build up, there's no reason why I can't get into that rhythm (of playing one event a month). It's just a matter of getting in better shape basically. I feel like my game's not that far off, but I need to get in better shape."
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What particularly stood out was how freely Woods was moving throughout at the Hero World Challenge and, compared to what we saw at The Masters in April, the event which he withdrew from, it's amazing how much progress has been made in the eight-month period.
"I'm ecstatic how the week turned out," explained Woods, who will now tee it up at the PNC Championship alongside his son Charlie later this month. "Not just from me playing but I think organizationally of the event and how everything's been run. Just the whole week has been very smooth and I think everyone here has enjoyed it.
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Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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