Tiger At The World Challenge: He's (Maybe!) Back

Tiger hasn't given many interviews--except for this big exclusive with the vaunted Broward County New Times to discuss his restaurant's update--but Steve DiMeglio talks to the 14-time major winner in advance of this week's Hero World Challenge and Tiger is "ready to go."

Woods, who was hitting balls at Albany Golf Club in advance of the Challenge, told DiMeglio he was "drained" from his duties as a Ryder Cup assistant captain and patted himself on the back for withdrawing from October's Safeway Open just three days after committing to play.

“I have way more shots now, because I’ve played way more golf. I only had a handful of shots back then,” said Woods, who played nine holes at Albany shortly after he arrived on Saturday. “And you just saw a session where I hit everything. And I had control of everything. I can hit all the shots now, on call.

“It was a smart decision in the end to pull out of the tournaments. The competitor inside me wanted to go so badly, I was itching to go, I had been playing at home, and I thought I could get it around. I had played feeling worse and won golf tournaments. But I finally decided why rush … I had waited more than a year, so let’s wait a little more and get it right.”

Bob Harig at ESPN.com also watched Tiger's first Bahama's practice session and offered this assessment:

Woods had no trouble carrying drives over 300 yards, shaping shots in both directions with his various clubs while showing no pangs of discomfort. Of course, it's Sunday, not the opening round on Thursday of an otherwise low-key, 18-player tournament that benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation. It's a year-ending cash grab for many stars of the game, and how they fare here is of little consequence. There are world ranking points at stake, and a $3.5 million purse with $1 million going to the winner.

Radaronline says Tiger will introduce a new woman by his side. She hopefully will be carrying less of his cash through the airport than she was in April.

Bookmaker.eu provides some of the fun exotic bets that are so sadly lacking at many of the betting houses these days.

A few of the eye-openers (prepare yourself for the cynicism):

Will Tiger Woods announce retirement from professional golf before January 1, 2018?

Yes +385
No -485

How many PGA Tour/European Tour events will Tiger Woods compete in during 2017 calendar year?

OVER 6.5 (+105)
UNDER 6.5 (-135)

Will Tiger Woods win a PGA Tour/European Tour event prior to January 1, 2018?

Yes +900
No -1900

Tiger Woods world golf ranking on January 1, 2018 (current WGR is No. 861)

OVER 861 (+130)
UNDER 861 (-160)

Will Tiger Woods withdraw during the 2016 Hero World Challenge?

Yes +230
No -320

Will Tigers Woods hit fairway on first round tee shot on Hole No. 1 of Hero World Challenge?

Yes -165
No +135

The facial hair is still here...Feherty inspired?