Hovland: “It’s a miracle Tiger is still walking”

Fatiha Betscher
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Tiger Woods poses with Viktor Hovland after winning the Hero World Challenge at Albany in 2021 (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

By Fatiha Betscher, Albany, The Bahamas.

Defending Hero World Champion Viktor Hovland declared it’s a miracle Tiger Woods is even walking after the 15-time major champ withdrew from his tournament here in the Bahamas.

News broke that Woods would not be teeing-up in this year’s 23rd hosting of his tournament around 2pm local time Monday from what would be just a fourth tournament this year.

Woods withdrawal comes not only as a hugely personal disappointment but also for event officials, his fellow pros and millions of worldwide fans.

It is understood Woods has developed plantar fasciitis in his right foot. “After consulting with my doctors and trainers, I have decided to withdraw this week and focus on my hosting duties,” Woods said in a statement.

It is the second year in succession Woods will sit out the event and while a year ago he was clearly still recovering a near fatal car crash in early 2019, Woods hopes this latest injury will be one from which he can quickly recover.

“It’s disappointing for Tiger not to be teeing-up this week not just for his fellow players and the fans but particularly himself,” said Hovland.

“It’s a pretty nasty injury that he has but sadly it’s not the first time and it will not be the last so, I guess, he must be getting used to it a little bit but then you always hope each and every single time that Tiger does tee-up in a tournament.

“I know each and every one of us can understand what he’s going through and the fact he’s still walking is a miracle.

“I will always have fond memories of a year ago when Tiger presented me with that great-looking ‘Tiger’ trophy and then to see Tiger’s and my photograph side-by-side on the advertising poles this week is also very special,” said Hovland.

Indeed, if you click onto Google and type-in ‘Images of Tiger Woods and Viktor Hovland’ two photographs of the pair emerge.  One was taken inside the Butler Cabin taken in April 2019 when Woods captured a 15th Major.

“Each are special photographs for me taken standing alongside Tiger and I feel very privileged and honoured,” said Hovland.

“They’re some of the great highlights of my career and maybe we could repeat last year’s trophy shoot this Sunday as that would be nice to have it again presented to me with his trophy for a second time.

“Last year was a pretty crazy day for me, finishing in the manner as I did and then standing there on the presentation green with Tiger handing me the trophy.

“It’s just disappointing myself, and like so many others, have not seen too much of him this year, so receiving the trophy from him was pretty cool.”

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