• Event was his first outing in almost four months
• "I made some progress," says 14-time major winner
He might have finished joint last but Tiger Woods was keen to accentuate the positives from his latest return to professional golf at the Hero World Challenge over the weekend.
The former world No.1 propped up the 18-man leaderboard along with fellow American Hunter Mahan after an uneven, fever-hit performance in the event that benefits his own foundation and which was, for the first time, played at his former home course, Isleworth.
However, despite his disappointment at finishing a whopping 26 shots behind runaway winner Jordan Spieth, Woods was quick to talk up the positives of having been able to make his return to competitive golf for the first time in almost four months and, in particular, the huge improvements he made off the tee.
“I made some progress,” said the 38-year-old, a winner of 14 majors. “I hadn't played in four months and I'm in absolutely no pain, which is nice.
“To be able to go out on the some of these drives like it did this week really enforces that what I'm doing is the right thing for my body.”
"To come out here and not play in any kind of pain is great progress." - Tiger Woods
Acknowledging a succession of chunked chips throughout his four rounds, Woods added: “I obviously need to clean up my short game. That still needs a lot of work.
“Again, it's progress. I hadn't played in four months. To come out here and not play in any kind of pain is great progress and to be able to hit the ball as hard as I want really without flinching.
Woods also had words of praise for Spieth, who led the tournament from start to finish to seal his second successive victory, following his win in the Australian Open last week.
“What he's doing out here is pretty impressive,” said Woods. “I know he won here not too long ago. It’s hard to believe he was only in college a couple of years ago.”
Tiger Woods’ niece bags LPGA card
Despite his own disappointing performance in the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods was delighted to hear that his niece, Cheyenne Woods, secured her LPGA card through qualifying school. "That's awesome," said Tiger after his final round at Isleworth. "I knew she was right there, so can't wait to call her."