Woods' return is exciting - Rose

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Tiger Woods spoke at a press conference Tuesday ahead of his comeback at this week's Hero World Championship starting on Thursday. It's a typical tournament in terms of being played over four days and with a stroke-play format.

By all accounts, the Hero tournament host appeared healthy and comfortable as he raced around Albany in a golf cart in just over two hours on Sunday - and during a casual 18 holes over the weekend with Dustin Johnson, Brad Faxon, and the current occupant of the White House. It also is not an official PGA Tour event - although world ranking points can be earned - and it benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation. The victor gets $1 million.

After his Memorial Day arrest, the 14-time major champion said in a statement that alcohol was not involved but that he had an "unexpected reaction" to prescription medication.

Former world No.1 Woods is now ranked 1199th and is a 40-1 outsider in the 18-man field, which features several players who grew up as some of his biggest fans.

Perhaps it was the long flight or it was going to happen regardless, but Tiger's troublesome back acted up following an opening-round 77 and he withdrew.

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His latest absence was a result of his fourth back surgery, which was in April, to remove a disk that was causing nerve pain. His last victory was at the 2013 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.

The former world number one is finally playing pain free and is eager to get through 72 holes in the Bahamas this week. Woods was priced at +1600 to win this event, but has dropped to +1200 on the golf odds board.

In fact, eight-time tour victor Faxon recounted how Woods - who has played sparingly since August 2015 - blasted about half of his tee shots past those of last season's second-longest driver of the ball. However, he also had six double bogeys and finished 15 at 4-under 284.

"In an ideal world, I would like to have them feel what some of my past guys had to go against all those years, " Woods said. He said when he looks back on his performance a year ago in the Bahamas, it seems as though he were in slow motion. Given a year's probation and community service, his record will be erased if he has no other driving-related issues. The field also includes the European Tour's Race to Dubai victor Tommy Fleetwood and the red-hot Justin Rose, the 2016 Olympic gold medallist. He led the field in birdies. It's pretty low key, if there's ever a low-key tournament for him.

Can Tiger crack the top 10 in his return? Winning isn't realistic. Go with Rickie Fowler at +900 to win.

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