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The PGA Tour announced Friday that Tiger Woods will officially play at next weekend’s Safeway Open in Napa, California, marking his first competitive golf tournament in more than 14 months.
In September, Woods announced on his website that he intended to play the Safeway, though many remained skeptical because of the numerous false reports over the past year that Woods was finally nearing a return.
Since March, 2014, Woods has had three back surgeries, and last played in a tournament at the Wyndham Open in August, 2015. During his recovery, the 14-time major champion winner has barely been seen hitting golf balls in public, aside from hitting three consecutive 100-yard shots into the water during the media day for the Quicken Loans National in May.
Earlier this week, Jesper Parnevik told Golf Digest that he had seen Woods playing at Medalist, his local club in Florida, and that he looked sharp.
“I see Tiger at the Medalist. We talk and have played nine holes together,” Parnevik said. “By the way, he’s been hitting a lot of balls, and he’s hitting it great. He’s pounding it a mile and flushing everything. On the range, at least, his trajectory and ball flight are like the Tiger we knew 15 years ago. Comebacks are never a sure thing, but something tells me his might be spectacular.”
Along with the Safeway Open, Woods said in September that he is eyeing the Turkish Airlines Open (November 3), and the Tiger Woods Foundation-run Hero World Challenge (December 1). According to his website,he will also participate in the Tiger Woods Invitational on Oct. 10-11.
Considering Woods hasn’t played in 14 months, it’s hard to imagine his name on the leader board next week at the Safeway. Still, golf is more exciting when he is playing.
Tiger is back!