Tiger Woods' 2016 comeback appears imminent. The 14-time major champion has reportedly been intensively practicing, eyeing a return to the PGA Tour in May.
Golf Channel and Golf World reporter Tim Rosaforte said Thursday that Woods could be looking at a return at the Wells Fargo Championship (May 5-8) in Charlotte, N.C., or The Players Championship (May 12-15), at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Rosaforte called Quail Hollow the "logical choice," after reporting earlier in the week that Woods had stepped up his practice regimen.
Woods was in the Augusta, Ga., area this week for the Sage Valley junior tournament in neighboring South Carolina, doing a clinic for the top-tier players in the field.
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Notah Begay III, Woods' long-time buddy and occasional indirect mouthpiece, said Woods is getting stronger in practice but could only know where he really is by playing tournament golf.
“It's mostly the ball speed and the clubhead speed,” Begay said to Golf Channel. “That's a gauge. Every player knows where they should be heading into the season. Everybody else's season started in the fall. We don't know when Tiger Woods' season is going to start, but the physical attributes you would look for are starting to materialize.”
Woods last competed on the PGA Tour in August 2015, when he finished a season-best T-10 at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C. That week, Woods complained of hip pain. However, when visiting his surgeon, Dr. Charles Rich, in Utah in September, Woods learned the source of the pain was the same spot on his back where he had a microdiscectomy performed in March 2014. Woods opted for a second microdiscectomy over rehab, with a follow-up procedure in October.
The former world No. 1 is now ranked 486th in the Official World Golf Ranking.