NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — Tiger Woods has another world-class field for his Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. Still to be determined is whether he is part of it.
Woods on Monday announced 19 players in the 20-man field for Albany Golf Club the first weekend of December, which includes every eligible member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team, along with two players who were left off the team.
Missing is Brooks Koepka. The Hero World Challenge is sanctioned by the PGA Tour, and Koepka is suspended from that for being part of the rival Saudi-funded LIV Golf League. The PGA champion was a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup.
Woods has not played competitively since withdrawing from the Masters after making the cut. He had ankle surgery a short time later for injuries related to his February 2021 car accident, though he was seen hitting wedges during a foundation event at Pebble Beach last week.
Viktor Hovland, the two-time defending champion in the Bahamas, is among three players from Europe’s winning Ryder Cup team in Rome.
Sponsor exemptions were awarded to Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas. Both are among the top 25 in the world ranking, which illustrates the strength of the field. Players must be among the top 50 to get an exemption, part of the provision for the unofficial event getting world ranking points.
The criteria allows for an exemption to be used on the tournament host — Woods — if he needs one.
FILE – Tiger Woods drives the 18th hole on his way to winning the 100th U.S. Open Golf Championship at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, Calif., on June 18, 2000. A 60-foot birdie putt sunk on the 18th at St. Andrew’s before a playoff loss to John Daly at the 1995 British Open. A front-row seat to history paired with Tiger Woods in the final round of the 1997 Masters. Then a career-defining singles win over Woods later in ’97 that helped Europe win the Ryder Cup. It’s been nearly three decades since Costantino Rocca put Italian golf on the map and it’s hard to imagine the Ryder Cup being held near Rome this week would have happened without him. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)