The First Look: The Hero World Challenge

The Hero World Challenge returns to Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas, hosted by Tiger Woods.

This is the seventh time the Ernie Els-designed club will host the year-end event.

Woods is set to play in the limited-field event, which will boast FedExCup champions, future TOUR stars and plenty of global celebrities.

FIELD NOTES AND STORYLINES: Woods is back in action for the first time since The Open Championship. The 82-time PGA TOUR winner played three times this season — the Masters, PGA Championship and The Open — as he begins his recovery from a car accident in 2021. Woods will once again host the Bahamas … Woods will also play in The Match on 10 December and with his son Charlie at the PNC Championship on December 17-18…Victor Hovland returns to defend his title from last season…Tom Kim, who won the Wyndham Championship in August and the Shriners Children’s Open in October (plus made a fiery debut at Presidents Cup in September), will make his tournament debut… Kim is one of six golfers making their Hero World Challenge debuts… PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Cameron Young, International Presidents Cup team members Corey Conners and Sungjae Im , former Open Championship winner Shane Lowry and multiple TOUR winner (and new father) Max Homa are the other debutants… 2022 four-time winner Scottie Scheffler is set to will return to Hero’s field. Scheffler finished runner-up last year … This year’s US Open champion and PGA Championship winner Matt Fitzpatrick and Justin Thomas, respectively, will be the first … Jon Rahm, who won in 2018 by four strokes, is back in action. Only Rahm and Hovland have won the Hero World Challenge in their tournament debut… Multiple PGA TOUR winner and Olympic gold medalist Xander Schauffele is in the field… Tony Finau, who won the Cadence Bank Houston Open this fall, is looking to find the winning round for the fourth time this year … Former FedExCup champions Jordan Spieth and Billy Horschel are in the field … World No. 8 Colin Morikawa makes six of the top 10 in the world to go to the Bahamas … Tournament exemptions have been granted to Kevin Kisner and Tommy Fleetwood to complete the field of 20 players.

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FEDEXCUP: No FedExCup points are awarded in the Hero World Challenge; however, four past FedExCup winners are in the field.

Tom Kim is the top-ranked golfer in the field in this year’s FedExCup (he’s fourth).

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World ranking points will be awarded.

COURSE: Albany Golf Course, Par. 72, 7414 yards (yardage subject to change). This is the seventh year that the Ernie Els-designed Albany Golf Club will host the Hero World Challenge. The 20 golfers will battle strategic water hazards, windswept dunes and navigate a links-style layout with five par-5s and five par-3s. Four of the last five winners of the Hero World Challenge in Albany have finished exactly 18 under.

72-HOLE RECORD: 262, Jordan Spieth (2014). Albany Record: 263, Bubba Watson (2015)

18-HOLE COURSE: 61, Rickie Fowler (fourth round, 2017)

LAST TIME: Victor Hovland became the third straight European to win the Hero World Challenge and the first debutant to win at Albany since Jon Rahm in 2018. Hovland, who edged Scotty Scheffler by one shot, fired a 6-under 66 on Sunday, highlighted by a back-to -back eagles on No’s 14 and 15 in the final round. Collin Morikawa held the 54-hole lead but double-bogeyed No’s 4 and 6 on Sunday and couldn’t recover, finishing with a 4-over 76 in the final round. Scheffler, meanwhile, caught fire on his back nine Sunday, shooting a 6-under 30 over his final nine holes. It was too little, too late, though. Hovland started the day six shots off the lead but still managed to lift the trophy despite a scary finish. Sam Burns and Patrick Reid finished tied for third, while Morikawa and Justin Thomas finished fifth.

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Harris English, who finished tied for 14th, recorded the round of the week, a 9-under 63 on Saturday.

television: Thursday-Friday, 1:30-4:30 PM ET (Golf Channel). Saturday, 12:00-2:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2:30-5:00 p.m. (NBC). Sunday, 12:00-13:00 (Golf Channel), 13:00-17:00 (NBC)

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