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Tiger Woods makes his return this week.

The Hero World Challenge will be the 15-time major champion’s first start since hobbling out of the Masters at Augusta National over seven months ago.

Since then, he has undergone subtalar fusion surgery in his right ankle and has been continuing to recover from career-threatening injuries sustained in his February 2021 single-car crash in Los Angeles.

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So how will Woods perform this time around? The clues so far have included footage of the 47-year-old hitting wedge shots, caddying for his son Charlie and Stewart Cink telling us he’s in “go-mode.”

But while Woods will make his long-awaited return to the course at Albany, there is another fascinating subplot that fans will also be keeping a watchful eye on.

Like Woods, Will Zalatoris will also return from a long injury-layoff this week.

The 27-year-old American has not played competitively since the Players Championship in March, but will tee it up alongside 19 of the world’s best players at Albany.

Zalatoris was a last-minute withdrawal from the Masters this year, announcing he would need surgery on his ailing back which would rule him out for the rest of the season.

Then the world No.8, Zalatoris had only just recovered from two herniated discs in his back, which ruled him out of last year’s Tour Championship and Presidents Cup.

Now though, he is back swinging freely after revealing in May that he is pain-free for the first time in two years.

• Woods commits to second tournament in comeback

• Charlie Woods does something even Tiger didn’t

During his extended period away from the game,  Zalatoris has completed classes to earn a psychology degree from Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

But after missing all four majors and an American Ryder Cup defeat on the sidelines, he has been desperate to get back to doing what he does best. He began chipping in July and has gradually been working up to full speed ever since.

While Woods will dominate the headlines, the state of Zalatoris’ game will also be monitored with great intrigue in the Bahamas.

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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