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Tiger Woods

‘Tiger Woods looks good,’ says Justin Rose ahead of 14-time major champion’s return to golf next week

The Englishman will play in the former world number one’s tournament, the Hero World Challenge, in Bahamas

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 November, 2017, 2:09pm
UPDATED : Monday, 27 November, 2017, 11:39am

Justin Rose is looking forward to playing with Tiger Woods at the Hero World Challenge next week in the Bahamas, saying the whole golfing world is eager to see how the 14-time major champion will play after his latest injury-enforced break.

Rose is part of a select field for the event, which is hosted by Woods – who is using the tournament to return to the circuit after undergoing back surgery.

“Well, that’s my home tournament, really. I live there in the Bahamas. I live at Albany where the tournament is,” said Rose, the 2015 UBS Hong Kong Open champion who is three under for the tournament after two rounds.

“I’m looking forward to that and, and it’s obviously great to have Tiger back. It’s the perfect event for him to come back to. It’s obviously a very small field, pretty low-key ... if there’s ever a low-key tournament for him. Wherever he plays, he draws pretty big crowds, attention and media. Good to see him back and feeling good within himself, and his golf can build from there.”

The 41-year-old Woods has been plagued by back problems throughout his career and he is hoping that his latest back fusion operation is the one that keeps him healthy and pain-free.

Rose said he met Woods recently and the word is that the American former world number one is looking healthy and eager to play.

“I saw him a couple weeks ago and he looked good,” said Rose. “A couple of my friends have been playing with him and said that he’s in good shape. That’s the most important thing.

“Obviously, it always is difficult coming off a full year or whatever it’s been without a scorecard in your hand. So practice and actually putting a score on a scorecard, let’s just wait and see. But he looks fit, healthy, and I think, like I said, from there, he can play golf, right. He’s obviously got all the talent in the world.

“I think he’s motivated, too, which is great. If he puts his mind to something, I’m sure he can achieve what his goals are.”

After four back operations in three years … returning Tiger Woods is finally waking up ‘pain free’

Rose said a healthy Woods who is playing well is good for golf.

“If he performs like he did the last time at the Hero, I think that would be fantastic,” said Rose. “I think he had 24 birdies, led the field in birdies. He obviously had a bunch of mistakes which come from rustiness, but if we see that type of form, that would be very encouraging from my point of view.”