ALBANY, Bahamas – Following 16 months away from competitive golf, tournament host Tiger Woods is set to make his return at the 2016 Hero World Challenge Dec. 1-4 at Albany in The Bahamas.
“I am excited to make my return at the Hero World Challenge at Albany and play in this terrific tournament,” Woods said. “This is our 18th year, and every year we put together a top field that showcases the best golfers from the previous season. Albany is an outstanding setting, and I can’t thank Hero MotoCorp enough for their support of the tournament and my foundation.”
Previously, when Woods pulled out of the Safeway Classic a few weeks ago, he said he hoped to play in the Hero World Challenge.
Woods, whose Tiger Woods Foundation is the event’s charitable beneficiary along with the Tavistock Foundation and Albany Scholars Program, is a five-time winner of the Hero World Challenge. He last played in the tournament in 2014.
Joining Woods in the Hero World Challenge field is defending champion Bubba Watson. After nearly not playing in last year’s tournament, Watson earned his spot via an exemption that opened up just weeks before the tournament and rolled to a three-stroke victory. Watson makes his title defense in a field that includes 16 of the top 25 players in the Official World Golf Ranking, three major championship winners from 2016, the Rio Olympics’ gold, silver and bronze medalists and 12 players who competed in last month’s Ryder Cup.
The field of 18 PGA Tour players is invited as follows: the current four major championships winners, the top 11 players available from the Official World Golf Ranking as of Sept. 26, 2016 (following the TOUR Championship), the defending champion and two special-exemption players.
The 2016 Hero World Challenge field:
Name (Official World Golf Ranking as of 10/23/2016), Country
Dustin Johnson (2), USA
Jordan Spieth (4), USA
Henrik Stenson (5), Sweden
Patrick Reed (7), USA
Bubba Watson (8), USA
Hideki Matsuyama (10), Japan
Rickie Fowler (11), USA
Justin Rose (12), England
Jimmy Walker (17), USA
Matt Kuchar (19), USA
Russell Knox (20), Scotland
Brandt Snedeker (22), USA
Brooks Koepka (23), USA
Louis Oosthuizen (24), South Africa
J.B. Holmes (25), USA
Emiliano Grillo (26), Argentina
Tiger Woods (tournament host), USA
Zach Johnson (exemption), USA
The field for the Hero World Challenge is made up of many players who produced the biggest moments of the 2015-16 season.
World No. 2 Dustin Johnson heads to Albany coming off his first major championship victory at the U.S. Open and PGA TOUR Player of the Year honors, while Henrik Stenson (The Open Championship) and Jimmy Walker (PGA Championship) also ride the momentum of being first-time major championship winners. Johnson won three tournaments during the 2015-16 season, while Hero World Challenge defending champion Watson, World No. 4 Jordan Spieth and World No. 20 Russell Knox each won twice.
Justin Rose’s 2016 was most notable for winning the first Olympic golf competition in 100 years. Stenson and Matt Kuchar joined Rose on the Olympic podium as the event’s silver and bronze medal winners, respectively.
Patrick Reed, the 2015 Hero World Challenge runner-up, and Brooks Koepka played starring roles in the United States’ 17-11 victory at the 2016 Ryder Cup in October, while Johnson, Spieth, Walker, Rickie Fowler, Brandt Snedeker, J.B. Holmes and Zach Johnson also were integral members of the winning effort.
The Hero World Challenge is a four-round, 72-hole stroke play event with a $3.5 million purse, a $1 million winner’s prize and Official World Golf Ranking points awarded. It will be held at the challenging par-72, 7,302-yard Albany for the second consecutive year.
Live television coverage of the Hero World Challenge will be provided by Golf Channel during all four rounds and by NBC during the third and fourth rounds.