As Tiger Woods has continued to post swing video updates and looked increasingly in golfing shape, the question has lingered … Will he make his return to competitive golf at the Hero World Challenge?
His former coach believes there’s no doubt.
Woods wasn’t listed in the initial Hero field, but that field also wasn’t complete.
Does this really mean that Woods – who underwent a fourth back surgery in April and hasn’t competed since February – may be returning to golf soon?
That ex-instructor, Hank Haney, is certain Woods will once again make his return in December at the Hero World Challenge.
“They’re going to toy with everybody, because it’s just what they do. But (Tiger’s) playing at the Hero World Challenge,” Haney said on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio. “He’s not going to wait ’til February to play again.
“I think you’re going to see him. Well I don’t think you’re going to see him, I know you’re going to see him. You’re going to see him at the Hero.”
OK, Haney may have his biases, though, considering he taught Woods during a good deal of his prime years. But remember, Haney has not held back on his relationship with Woods, even writing a book, The Big Miss, on his time teaching the 14-time major champion.
Also, Haney said in April that he didn’t think Woods was into a comeback.
So this is actually a bit of a 180 from the renowned instructor.
But does he think Woods would be competitive in this hypothetical return at Hero? While he didn’t answer that question directly, he’s optimistic about what he’s seeing in these videos.
“He’s in great shape, he’s in great golf shape, whatever that means,” Haney said. “It’s just a question of whether or not he has any setbacks with his back, and obviously so far that hasn’t occurred because if it had occurred, he would shut it down immediately. And he’s still going, so this is a good sign.”
Haney continued on what he sees about Woods’ swing in these videos.
“It looks to me like he’s got fast hands, he’s got enough flexibility that he’s got an arc to his swing,” Haney said. “I mean, there’s no reason to believe he’s not swinging it reasonably fast.”
Woods returned to competitive golf last year at the Hero World Challenge, and while that week went well, he was soon out of commission again. What would be in store this time?
Maybe his 2016 appearance wasn’t a good omen, but if Haney is high on a Woods return in December, it’s really time to start paying attention.