NASSAU, BAHAMAS – DECEMBER 03: Rickie Fowler of the United States poses with tournament host Tiger Woods after winning the Hero World Challenge at Albany, Bahamas on December 3, 2017, in Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
By Christopher Powers
Eighteen of the top-ranked players in the world head to The Bahamas this week for the Hero World Challenge, held at Albany in New Providence. While the event is recognized on the PGA Tour schedule and has a purse of $3,500,000, it is not an official money event, but it does offer World Ranking points. Tiger Woods is the tournament host, and the event is a benefit for his foundation.
Headlining the field is Woods, who began his latest comeback at the Hero a year ago and showed flashes of his former self. At the time, his T-9 finish in a field of 18 was nothing special, but his Friday and Sunday 68s would be a sign of things to come in a season that saw him climb from 1,199th to 13th in the Official World Golf Ranking, win the Tour Championship and contend in the final two majors of the season. He returns to the Hero this year fresh off an eventful loss to Phil Mickelson in “The Match,” where neither he nor Mickelson had their best stuff. Woods will play alongside Justin Thomas on Thursday and Friday.
Also back in the field is defending champion Rickie Fowler, who carded a final-round 11-under 61 at Albany last year to win by four strokes. The incredible performance leads many to believe the four-time tour winner was in for a big season, but Fowler was unable to notch another victory, though he came close at the Masters. He’ll play with Dustin Johnson on Thursday and Friday.
Thursday Tee Times (all times ET)
Tee No. 1
11:10 a.m. — Tony Finau, Gary Woodland
11:21 a.m. — Keegan Bradley, Hideki Matsuyama
11:32 a.m. — Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele
11:43 a.m. — Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson
11:54 a.m. — Jon Rahm, Alex Noren
12:05 p.m. — Justin Thomas, Tiger Woods
12:16 p.m. — Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson
12:27 p.m. — Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson
12:38 p.m. — Jason Day, Bryson DeChambeau