Tiger Woods on comeback trail

Tiger Woods says lack of back pain 'just remarkable' ahead of return

"I'm loving life now".

This is the second consecutive year he has attempted a return to golf at the Hero World Challenge, this one following his fourth back surgery (a fusion) in April 2017.

During his hiatus from golf, Woods was arrested for a DUI near his home in south Florida in May. The 14-time major victor is coming back following a lengthy recuperation from his latest back operation.

"I am a little surprised", Woods said.

"I missed being able to play golf with my friends. I have gotten really close to them and now I want to see how I compete against all these guys", Woods told a select group of media. "So as my back improved, I've been able to start sleeping again because I don't have the nerve pain going down my leg, I don't have the leg twitching all over the place, I don't have these issues anymore". That might have been the last time he had reasonable health.

But because Tiger is playing in a tournament for the first time since early February and following yet another back surgery, this is far from your typical silly-season event.

Eldrick Tont "Tiger" Woods is back and the world is watching.

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"I thought, 'How long will this fused back hold up?'" Woods noted.

Tiger has 79 PGA Tour wins and 12 more internationally.

"It could be the next step, I just don't know and that's tough to live with", Woods added to Golf Channel. "I hadn't done that in two years". I didn't realize how bad my back had become and how much I was flinching and just how slow I was.

Last year, Woods also returned from another lengthy absence at the Hero World Challenge and tied for the tournament lead with 24 birdies overall.

Lewis also asked Woods if he considered retiring from the sport to which Woods responded, "I don't know if retirement is the word, but I didn't think I could ever play golf with my friends again because I spent most of past year in bed". He then flew to Dubai and withdrew after a 77, citing back spasms. While it was a challenge to balance the variety of medications he was on at the time, Woods feels great to have got through it all. He said when he looks back on his performance previous year in the Bahamas, it seems as though he were in slow motion.

"I've been in bed for about two years and haven't been able to do much".

The tournament starts Thursday. I played around with DJ and Rickie the other day and I would like to see how good my skills are.

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