Tiger Woods announces stacked Hero World Challenge field minus Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm

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On Monday, Tiger Woods announced the 19-person field that will comprise the 2023 Hero World Challenge, the tournament he hosts.

This limited-field event starts on Nov. 30 at the Albany Golf Course in the Bahamas. The final round will take place on Sunday, Dec. 3.

Eight of the top 10 players in the world will tee it up, including world-number one Scottie Scheffler and Norwegian Viktor Hovland, currently the fourth-ranked player in the world.

Hovland will arrive in the Bahamas as the defending champion.

But notably absent from the player list released Monday are Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm, the second and third-ranked players in the world.

McIlroy’s omission is a surprise, considering his close relationship with Woods. The two superstar golfers spend a lot of time together and will launch their TGL Golf League six weeks after the 2023 Hero World Challenge.

Yet, the Northern Irishman skipped out on the 2022 edition too.

Rory McIlroy, Hero World Challenge

Rahm not playing is somewhat stunning as well. The Spaniard won the 2023 Masters while winning three other times this season on the PGA Tour. He has competed in the Hero World Challenge three times before, winning in 2019 and finishing in solo second in 2020. He tied for eighth in the Bahamas last year.

With this in mind, however, it is worth noting that McIlroy and Rahm have committed to playing in the DP World Tour Championship, scheduled for Nov. 16-19 at the Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai.

Perhaps these two major champions want to rest and recuperate before the 2024 PGA Tour season kicks off at The Sentry in Maui in January. Rahm won that event last year.

Nevertheless, Woods purposefully left one sponsor’s exemption available.

Maybe McIlroy or Rahm will want to play at the last second.

Or, Woods may feel healthy enough to play himself.

The 15-time major champion has not played since April 2023, when he had to withdraw from the Masters, thanks to an aggravating foot injury. He had surgery on his ankle a week later.

The entire field of participants follows below:

  1. Scottie Scheffler
  2. Viktor Hovland
  3. Patrick Cantlay
  4. Xander Schauffele
  5. Max Homa
  6. Matt Fitzpatrick
  7. Brian Harman
  8. Wyndham Clark
  9. Jordan Spieth
  10. Cameron Young
  11. Keegan Bradley
  12. Collin Morikawa
  13. Tony Finau
  14. Sam Burns
  15. Jason Day
  16. Sepp Straka
  17. Will Zalatoris
  18. Rickie Fowler
  19. Justin Thomas
  20. TBD

Zalatoris, who has not played on the PGA Tour since withdrawing from the Masters in April, underwent back surgery in the spring.

He has been sidelined since.

Meanwhile, 11 of the 12 members of the U.S. Ryder Cup team will play in the Bahamas. Brooks Koepka, who plays for LIV Golf, did not receive an invite.

The 2023 Hero World Challenge will air on Golf Channel for the first two rounds while NBC picks up coverage for the third and final rounds.





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