Tiger Woods is hoping to complete a full schedule in 2017 after marking his return to competitive golf at the Hero World Challenge this weekend (3 - 4 December) following a 16-month absence. The 14-time major winner finished 15th in an 18-man field at the Tiger Woods Foundation benefit after carding a disappointing final round four-over-par 76 that saw him finish 72 holes on four-under 284 and 14 shots behind eventual winner Hideki Matsuyama.
For Woods, who endured a mixed opening day and later fired an impressive second round seven-under 65 before fading on Sunday with three bogeys and three double bogeys, his appearance at the luxury resort community of Albany in The Bahamas was his first since the Wyndham Championship in August 2015. This year was the first time he has missed all four major tournaments in a calendar year since his Masters debut 21 years ago.
Speaking on his future plans after coming through the Hero World Challenge unscathed, the 40-year-old said: "I'll consider a lot of things, but I would like in my heart of hearts to play a full schedule next year."
Woods was originally scheduled to make his PGA Tour comeback at October's season-opening Safeway Open. However, he later withdrew from that event in addition to last month's Turkish Airlines Open in Antalya after claiming that his game was "vulnerable and not where it needs to be".
It has been an arduous path back to full fitness for the Team USA Ryder Cup vice-captain who has undergone three back operations, now inside the world's top 650 after beginning the week 898th, .
"Getting back to this point is beyond anything that I've ever experienced in my lifetime," he said. "The pain issues that I had, it was rough. To battle back, to battle through it, to have the friends I've had who have supported me, helped me through it. Quite frankly there were some pretty dire times where I just couldn't move.
"Big picture? It feels good. It feels good to be back out here playing again, competing and trying to beat the best players in the world. I missed it. I love it. I've been doing it for a very long time and this stretch, where I've been off for almost a year-and-a-half, has been rough and the last few years have been rough."