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"The fact that I don't have any pain in my lower back compared to what I was living with for years, it's just remarkable", Woods told reporters on Sunday after a speedy practice round at Albany, where he will make his first start in nearly nine months at this week's Hero World Challenge.

Perhaps it was the long flight or it was going to happen regardless, but Tiger's troublesome back acted up following an opening-round 77 and he withdrew.

The Hero World Challenge is held at Albany Golf Course in New Providence, Bahamas.

Woods didn't elaborate on a score or whether he played a full 18 holes, but sounded pleased with his game as he discussed his preparation of late ahead of the 18-man tournament he'll compete in and host, the proceeds of which benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation.

"I was trying to go away from the pain, " Woods said when asked whether the May 29 incident in which he was found asleep at the wheel of his vehicle was a blessing or wake-up call. "So just give me a little bit of time".

There is a buzz here as eight of the world's top-10 players prepare to tee off in what will be one of the strongest fields for the Hero World Challenge, an invitational PGA Tour event. He tied Woods for the birdie lead a year ago in the Bahamas and won at 18-under 270, two shots ahead of Sweden's Henrik Stenson. "To finally come out on the good side of it is exciting".

"They have been great at trying to help me come back".

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"I'm just looking forward to getting through these four rounds and having an understanding - a better understanding - of where I'm at", he said.

"I'm winging this because I don't know what my body can and can't do yet". I was like, "Yep, I hit driver today".

"In an ideal world, I would like to have them feel what some of my past guys had to go against all those years, " Woods said. England's Tommy Fleetwood, who recently won the Race to Dubai title on the European Tour, is +1800.

And then there are Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Matt Kuchar and Kevin Kisner, all winners on the PGA Tour this year.

The tournament is a four-round, 72-hole stroke play event with a United States dollars 1 million winner's prize and official world ranking points awarded.

Justin Thomas, who will partner Woods in Thursday's first round, only turned professional in 2013, the year of Woods' last tournament win.

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