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Return engagement

Woods is hit and miss in his long-awaited trip back to competition

Return engagement

It was a mixed bag for Tiger Woods regarding his return to golf in December. Woods will be making appearances in the Southland soon at Torrey Pines and Riviera.
AP Images

And on the 467th day, Tiger Woods played tournament golf again.

Woods made his long awaited return to golf on Dec. 1, when he teed it up in the Hero World Challenge, his foundation’s annual charity event in the Bahamas. And because the golf world revolves around Tiger, the biggest news wasn’t that Hideki Matsuyama won his third straight tournament, and fourth in five events, to pocket the $1 million first-place check.

Here are the real headlines:  

Woods plays four rounds; doesn’t re-injure himself

“A lot of positives,” said Joe LaCava, Tiger’s caddie, assessing his week at Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas. “He’s upright, No. 1.”

Yes, it’s a good sign that you’re still standing, and not grimacing in pain, after ending the longest layoff of your career – especially after undergoing three back surgeries in an 18-month period and watching your world ranking plummet to 898th during 15-plus months of inactivity.

“It was a great week,” an upbeat Tiger said after the tournament, an unofficial but tour-sanctioned 72-hole event with world ranking points.

Yes, he used the word “great” after finishing 15th in an 18-player field.

Top 20 finish for Woods in return

Just kidding. But you can forget those 79 PGA Tour victories and 14 major titles, at least for the time being. Expectations have changed. Progress is measured differently now.

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