What a difference a year makes.
When Tiger Woods docked in the Bahamas for last year’s Hero World Challenge, he did so ranked No. 1199 in the world on the cusp of his first competitive rounds in nearly a year. Even against an 18-man field, there were more questions than answers.
Fast forward to this week, as Woods once again plays the dual role of tournament host and tournament participant at Albany. Buoyed by his win at the Tour Championship and close calls at both The Open and PGA Championship, Woods is No. 13 in the latest rankings.
And things could get even better this week at an event where Woods briefly held the lead a year ago before fading to a T-9 finish. Should he win his own event for the first time since it moved to Albany, Woods would move to No. 6 in the world – a ranking he hasn’t held since June 2014.
Granted, it won’t be an easy task in the Bahamas as Woods’s year-end event has attracted six of the top 10 players in the world. Chief among them are world No. 2 Justin Rose, who can supplant Brooks Koepka at No. 1 with a strong result, and defending champ Rickie Fowler who returns ranked ninth. At No. 32, Gary Woodland is the lowest-ranked player in the field.