Rickie Fowler fires seven birdies in a row at Hero World Challenge

Bogeys slow Woods' comeback

Rickie Fowler conquers Bahamas to win Hero World Challenge

Amid overwhelmingly positive reviews of Woods' performance at the Hero World Challenge that might lead some to believe that he is destined to recapture his old greatness, a word of caution might be in order.

No more birdies were forthcoming, however, and Fowler settled for a course-record 61 and an 18-under total of 270.

The 14-time major champ completed his long-awaited comeback and, by all accounts, it went extremely well.

Fowler began the final round seven strokes back from overnight leader Charley Hoffman, but surged up the leaderboard with a lightning start to his Sunday in the Bahamas.

Woods is making only his third appearance of 2017
Woods is making only his third appearance of 2017

If that was the highlight of Woods' return to tournament golf after a 10-month layoff, the takeaway was that he appears healthy and ready to compete with the game's elite players in the next year.

"I'm excited", Woods said on Sunday. "I really drove the ball a lot better than I was thinking, especially distance-wise". He added three birdies on the back nine but closed poorly, with bogeys on the final two holes. "I just ended up in bad spots after good shots". He told reporters he experienced "no pain" over the weekend and believes he still has a "bright future" on the course.

Woods, in his first tournament in almost 10 months following spinal fusion surgery, said he had some bad breaks on Saturday and that his game was better than his scorecard suggested.

The world number nine added another three birdies after the turn to take command, winning at a canter as Hoffman could only manage a level-par 72. England's Tommy Fleetwood (276), world No. 2 Jordan Spieth (276) and world No. 5 Hideki Matsuyama of Japan (277), Patrick Reed (277) and Olympic champion and world No. 6 Justin Rose of England (277) rounded out the top five. Woods beat current World No. 1 Dustin Johnson by eight shots.

Latest News