Tiger Woods once again will assemble an all-star cast for the Hero World Challenge, but the game’s biggest attraction remains a question mark.
Eight of the top 10 players in the Official World Golf Ranking, including two-time Hero defending champion Viktor Hovland of Norway and world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler of the U.S., have committed to the elite 20-man PGA Tour exhibition on November 30-December 3 at Albany in New Providence, Bahamas. The status of Woods, however, remains a mystery.
Woods, 47, has not competed since he withdrew during the third round of the Masters on April 9, citing plantar fasciitis in his right foot. Since mangling his right leg in a single-vehicle rollover crash on February 23, 2021, Woods has struggled to regain some semblance of the form with which he won a record-tying 82 tournaments on the PGA Tour, including 15 major titles. He has made only five tour starts in 2½ years, with two WDs, a missed cut and no finish better than 45th.
However, a big motivation for Woods to play in the Hero, which benefits his foundation, would be as a tune-up for one of his favorite events of the year. The parent-child PNC Championship will be played two weeks later, and Woods in recent years has paired with his son, Charlie, a 14-year-old up-and-coming junior golfer.
One exemption remains available for the $3.5 million Hero, which despite its small size and unofficial status on the PGA Tour schedule earns FedEx Cup and world-ranking points (take that, LIV!). Brooks Koepka, the reigning PGA champion, will be the only member of the 12-man U.S. Ryder Cup team not competing. He is ineligible for PGA Tour-sanctioned events because of his LIV Golf membership. READ MORE
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Byeong Hun An has been suspended for three months by the PGA Tour after he was found to have violated the tour’s anti-doping policy.
According to a statement released by the tour, An tested positive for an undisclosed substance prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency that was found in an over-the-counter cough medicine in his native South Korea. The suspension is retroactive to August 31, so he will be eligible to return to competition on December 1.
An, 32, finished 44th in the FedEx Cup during the past season, so he is eligible for the 2024 “signature events.” He is believed to be the eighth player suspended since the tour began drug testing in 2008 and the first since late 2019, when Matt Every tested positive for cannabis. READ MORE
Gordon Sargent became the first player to qualify for the PGA Tour via the PGA Tour University Accelerated program, the tour announced. Sargent, a 19-year-old Vanderbilt University junior and the 2022 NCAA champion from Birmingham, Alabama, accumulated enough points when he competed last week for the United States in the World Amateur Team Championship. He is expected to turn pro after the NCAA Championship in late May. READ MORE
TGL has completed its 24-man roster for the tech-infused golf league founded by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy and affiliated with the PGA Tour. Tour players Patrick Cantlay, Wyndham Clark, Lucas Glover, Min Woo Lee and Kevin Kisner will join TGL ahead of the league’s debut on January 9. The commitments follow last week’s news that Keegan Bradley, Sadith Theegala and Cameron Young intend to play. Also, the PGA Tour announced an ownership group for TGL’s San Francisco team that includes Bay Area basketball star Stephen Curry. READ MORE and MORE and MORE
Steve Stricker is considering more starts on the PGA Tour, he told The Associated Press’ Doug Ferguson. “I don’t know if it will work,” said Stricker, who has won five times and posted six runners-up in 16 starts during a record-setting season on the Champions Tour. “That’s what the fun part is – the challenge of playing with the best in the world.” Stricker, 56, has won 12 times on the PGA Tour, but it has been nearly 12 years since his last victory. READ MORE
The Champions Tour, a 50-and-older circuit affiliated with the PGA Tour, will play 28 tournaments worth more than $67 million in 2024, the tour announced. READ MORE
The Korn Ferry Tour, the top feeder circuit for the PGA Tour, announced a 26-tournament schedule spanning six countries for 2024 that will conclude in October with 30 players earning promotions. READ MORE
Andy Bean, an 11-time PGA Tour winner and member of one of college golf’s greatest teams, died October 14 of complications from double-lung-replacement surgery. He was 70.
Bean was one of the world’s top golfers in the late 1970s to mid-’80s, regularly ranking among the top money winners on the PGA Tour. His 1973 University of Florida team, which won the NCAA title, featured four players who would combine for 20 tour victories: Bean (11), Gary Koch (six), Woody Blackburn (two) and Phil Hancock (one), plus Fred Ridley, who would win the 1975 U.S. Amateur before becoming club chairman at Augusta National Golf Club, site of the annual Masters Tournament. READ MORE
Hazeltine National Golf Club will host the 2026 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the PGA of America announced. The club in Chaska, Minnesota, southwest of the Twin Cities, has been a favorite stop of the PGA of America in recent years, having hosted the 2002 and 2009 PGAs, the 2016 Ryder Cup and the 2019 Women’s PGA. Hazeltine also is scheduled to host the 2029 Ryder Cup. READ MORE
NBA star Stephen Curry will receive the Charlie Sifford Award, which honors diversity in golf, the World Golf Hall of Fame announced. Curry will be honored June 10 at the WGHOF induction ceremony during U.S. Open week at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina. READ MORE
Netflix will use golf to expand into live sports as the streaming service hosts its inaugural Netflix Cup, which will feature Formula 1 race-car drivers against some of the biggest names on the PGA Tour. Formula 1 drivers Alex Albon, Pierre Gasly, Lando Morris and Carlos Sainz will pair with Rickie Fowler, Max Homa, Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas in a format of one driver and one tour player in two-man matches November 14 at Wynn Golf Club in Las Vegas, Nevada. READ MORE
Kevin McAlpine, a Scottish caddie who was in the process of divorcing LPGA champion Anna Nordqvist of Sweden and had looped for such notable golfers as fellow Scot Martin Laird and LPGA players Lexi Thompson and Amy Yang, died suddenly at age 39, according to Scottish media reports, which cited Nordqvist and McAlpine’s family. READ MORE
Former touring pro Francis McGuirk of England has been charged with arson after investigators said he set fire to his family home in Sandwich last month, The Scottish Sun reported. A dog and a man believed to be McGuirk were rescued by firefighters, and the man was treated for smoke inhalation and burns. McGuirk, 49, has an initial court appearance on November 16. He also was charged with assault in a separate incident a week earlier. McGuirk played Europe’s Challenge Tour in 2012-13 after missing the cut in the 2011 Open Championship. READ MORE
Clippd, a golf data platform, has been retained by the NCAA to rescue college golf’s live-scoring system after a disastrous fall debut by Spikemark, which replaced longtime provider Golfstat, the NCAA announced. READ MORE
Michael Benkusky of Lake in the Hills, Illinois, has been elected to a one-year term as president of the American Association of Golf Course Architects. READ MORE
Compiled by Steve Harmon