Rickie Fowler conquers Bahamas to win Hero World Challenge

It's a similar position to where Woods finished 2016 (No. 652) in the OWGR.

Rickie Fowler closed with a blistering 61 to finish at 18-under 270 for the weekend to claim the Hero World Challenge title.

Fowler sprinkled 11 birdies - including seven straight from Nos.

Fowler finished four shots in front of fellow American Charley Hoffman, the overnight leader by five strokes who carded a final-round 72.

Woods underwent a fourth back surgery last April and made headlines when he was arrested near his Jupiter, Fla. home for driving under the influence.

Fowler finished at 18-under, while Hoffman was 14-under with Tommy Fleetwood (67) and Jordan Spieth (69) Tied-3td at 12-under and defending champion Hideki Matsuyama (68) was Tied-5th with Patrick Reed (68) and Justin Rose (70).

Writing for Sky Sports, Harmon said that he was "pleasantly surprised" with Woods' T-9 finish in the Bahamas.

Most importantly, he said, he played all week without pain.

Woods, the former longtime world No. 1 and 14-time major champion, had not officially logged four competitive rounds since the Wyndham Championship on August 20-23, 2015.

If history is anything to go by, the likely return to his first full-field TOUR event will come at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in late January, the last place Woods played in an official event. "I just ended up in bad spots after good shots".

Harmon said he was encouraged by two things: Woods has his swing speed back and seems to have total freedom in his golf swing - "I don't see any of the up-and-down movements that he used to put in there", Harmon wrote. - and Woods is pain-free.

"The issue was how my scoring was going to be, how was my feel? Not quite hitting it as far, but I had the adrenaline going and overall I'm very pleased".

  • Angelo Rivera