No longer needing a special exemption into his own tournament, Tiger Woods is among 14 of the top-20 players in the world who will tee it up at next month’s Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.
Woods is currently No. 13 in the Official World Golf Ranking – a far cry from the past two years, when he was outside the top 650 and needed, as tournament host, to grant himself a spot in the limited-field event because he wasn’t among the top 50.
The 18-man Hero has no cut and offers world-ranking points. The last two years, while recovering from back surgeries, Woods finished 15th (2016) and tied for ninth (’17). He also needed a special invite in 2015 (T-17).
Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau – four of the top five players in the world – are scheduled to play Nov. 29-Dec. 2 in Albany, Bahamas.
Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, Tommy Fleetwood, Jason Day, Xander Schauffele, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson, Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, Alex Noren and Hideki Matsuyama are also signed up to play alongside Woods.
Two additional exemptions will be announced at a later date, but currently the Hero field boasts 16 of the top 23 in the world.
The Hero will mark Woods’ first stroke-play tournament since his win Sept. 23 at the Tour Championship. He has won his own event five times, most recently in 2011.