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Tiger Woods has arrived on-site in the Bahamas for the Hero World Challenge and told reporters his ‘life is so much better’ following spinal fusion surgery.

The 14-time major champion underwent the procedure in April after withdrawing from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in February due to back spasms – and, although he admitted the recovery has been slow, he is happy with where he’s at now.

“The fact that I don’t have any pain in my lower back compared to what I was living with for years, it’s just remarkable,” Woods told Golf Channel.

“[At first] I just chipped [driver]. I was like, ‘Yep, I hit driver today’. I’ve progressed over a few days, hitting driver a little hard and harder and harder until it was comfortable enough to hit it full.

“That takes time and the last thing I want to do is have any setbacks.”

Welcome to the 2017 #heroworldchallenge @tigerwoods

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As for how he thinks he’ll perform this week, Woods said he was unsure and that he is just excited at the possibility of teeing it up pain-free.

“It could be the next step, I just don’t know and that’s tough to live with,” he added. “It’s been a struggle for years. To finally come out on the good side of it, it’s exciting. I am stiffer, I’m fused. But I don’t have the pain and if I don’t have the pain, life is so much better.”

Woods prepared for his trip to Albany with a round of golf in the company of President Donald Trump, world No.1 Dustin Johnson and eight-time PGA Tour winner Brad Faxon on Friday, and said it was great to be able to compare himself to the world No.1.

“[Johnson is] the No.1 player in the world. He’s been playing, I haven’t been playing,” Woods added. “It’s nice to compare my game to some of the other guys, like Dustin or Rickie [Fowler] or Rory [McIlroy].

“It’s nice to do something like that and compete and have a couple little denominations [a bet] we’re playing for. I like seeing where I’m at.”

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