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The Hero World Challenge is already a big event, featuring the likes of Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Hideki Matsuyama, among other stars. But this year’s event will be significantly larger in magnitude, as resident GOAT Tiger Woods is set to compete in an event for the first time in 10 months.
Coverage of the 2017 Hero World Challenge will be on the Golf Channel (Thursday 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. ET; Friday, 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. ET; Saturday Noon – 2:30 p.m. ET; Sunday 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET) and NBC (Saturday 2:30 – 5 p.m. ET; Sunday 1 – 4 p.m. ET). Fortunately, even if you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch a free live stream of Tiger’s return by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services. They cost a monthly fee, but all come with a free trial:
DirecTV Now: NBC (live in 15 markets) is included in all four channel packages, while Golf Channel is included in the “Go Big” and above bundles. It comes with a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, plus you can get $25 off your first month if you enter promo code “BDAY2017”. You can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app
FuboTV: Both the Golf Channel and NBC (live in 11 markets) are included in the “Fubo Premier” channel package, which is $19.99 per month for the first two months and $39.99 per month after that. It comes with a free 7-day trial, and you can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app
Sling TV: NBC (live in 11 markets) is included in the “Sling Blue” channel package for $25 per month, while Golf Channel is in the “Sports Extra” add-on for another $10 per month. It comes with a free 7-day trial, and you can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app
Woods, who has had four back surgeries and played in just 18 events since March of 2014, has made a number of unsuccessful comebacks over the past years, but he believes this one will be different now that he’s 100 percent.
“This is very different because last year I was still struggling with a little bit of pain and I was able to hit some good shots, able to play, but in looking back on it now, I look on it as playing in slow mo,” Woods said. “I didn’t realize how bad my back had become and how much I was flinching and just how slow I was. I didn’t realize it because it’s been a slow degrading process. I thought I had some speed, thought I was playing halfway decent, shot some good scores, but now I’ve looked back on it and man, I didn’t even have much at all.”
The real goal for Tiger this weekend likely isn’t to compete for a victory, but rather to to simply stay healthy through four rounds. Playing inside a stacked 18-player field, he has the third longest odds to win. Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, who have helped lead the youth resurgence in Woods’ absence the last several years, are the co-favorites, while Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Brooks Koepka and Justin Rose aren’t far behind.