When Does Tiger Woods Return? How to Watch Hero World Challenge on TV and Via Live Stream

Perhaps, this time around, a Tiger Woods comeback really will stick.

On Thursday, Woods takes to a professional golf course in competition for the first time since February. He will play as part of an 18-man field at the Hero World Challenge in Albany in the Bahamas, a tournament that he hosts. It was here in December 2016 that Woods shot a sparkling 7-under-par 65 in the second round to raise hopes that this return might be a lasting one.

But the year since then has been difficult. Woods withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic in February before the second round, with what his manager, Mark Steinberg, described as "back spasms." Woods missed the Masters in March and had back surgery in April. Then, on May 29, he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence near his home in Jupiter Island, Florida.

Woods checked into rehab in June to treat an addiction to prescription painkillers. He announced his return on his personal website on October 30. "I am excited to return to competitive golf at the Hero World Challenge," Woods wrote at the time. "Albany is the perfect setting and it will be great to join this outstanding field."

Professional golfer Tiger Woods.
Captain's assistant Tiger Woods of the U.S. team at the Presidents Cup at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City on September 30. Woods makes his playing return at the Hero World Challenge on Thursday. Rob Carr/Getty

The Hero World Challenge suits Woods's comeback as a tournament with an elite level of competition but no cut. The 41-year-old will line up alongside many of golf's luminaries, including the top three players in the world: Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. Hideki Matsuyama, fifth in the world, Justin Rose (sixth) and Rickie Fowler (ninth) will also be present.

Woods's latest attempt at a prolonged return to professional golf is available on television via the Golf Channel and NBC. The Golf Channel has coverage from 1:20 p.m. ET to 4:30 p.m. ET on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, the Golf Channel will show coverage from 12 p.m. ET until 2:30 p.m. ET, with NBC taking over until 5 p.m. On Sunday, everything shifts an hour earlier: The Golf Channel will broadcast from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET, with NBC picking up the coverage from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET. Those wishing to stream the event can do so via a subscription to FuboTV.