Tiger After Bahamas Practice: "Life is so much better"

ESPN.com's Bob Harig quotes Tiger Woods as saying he's one happy camper living with a pain-free back.

As Woods prepares to come back again at the Hero World Challenge, his comments about the joys of living pain free suggest there were far reaching effects over the recent years.

"It could be the next step, I just didn't know [when the pain would occur],'' Woods said. "That's tough to live with. And it's been a struggle for years. To finally come out on the good side of it is exciting. I am stiffer. Of course, [his lower back is] fused. But I don't have the pain. Life is so much better.''

Rex Hoggard also included this quote from Woods on his holiday round at Trump National.

“[Johnson is] the No. 1 player in the world. He’s been playing, I haven’t been playing,” Woods said. “It’s nice to compare my game to some of the other guys, like Dustin or Rickie [Fowler] or Rory [McIlroy]. It’s nice to do something like that and compete and have a couple little denominations [a bet] we’re playing for. I like seeing where I’m at.”

The SI/golf.com gang weighed their excitement level over Tiger's return this week. A few highlights:

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Such extreme options! Fantastic, I guess. By which I mean he plays four rounds, doesn't hurt himself, shows that the game still brings him some pleasure, hits good shots, goes 72 holes without a yip.

John Wood, caddie for Matt Kuchar (@johnwould): I'll lean toward the fantastic. The three things I would love to see is a pain-free golf swing, a lot of drivers off the tee and, like Michael said, joy. I hope he looks like a junior golfer out there sometimes, with a smile and having fun. I think that'll be a good starting point.

Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated (@AlanShipnuck): It's fantastic that he's back. The words of Faxon and, before that, Fowler, have helped stoke the anticipation but they're not helpful for Tiger. The expectations — his and ours — should be very, very low. It's gonna be fun to watch him play golf again and, for now, that's all that matters. One more point: I think the rehab stint was more important for Tiger than we can know. The DUI report made clear how out of control his prescription drug use had become. Tough to play golf like that. If his mind is clear and his body flushed-out from all of those toxins, that could make this comeback much different from all the previous, aborted ones.

As his first practice round in the Bahamas played out, there appeared to be lurkers in the dunes capturing swing video:

Mercifully Tiger posted a clean view of his swing:



#Repost @tgrliveevents ・・・ Welcome to the 2017 #heroworldchallenge

A post shared by Tiger Woods (@tigerwoods) on Nov 26, 2017 at 12:51pm PST