Tiger Woods

Woods looking for 15th major win

But Woods isn't most, and he will not consider his return complete until he re-enters the winner's circle for the first time since 2013.

Woods, however, is starting to feel the physical toll of a long PGA Tour season.

The 42-year-old would like to add his 15th major win this week at the US PGA Championship, climbing to within three of Jack Nicklaus' record, but he's still just surprised and happy to be competing again.

"I needed that day off yesterday," Woods said on Tuesday during his pre-tournament press conference at Bellerive Country Club.

Woods contending at Honda

Playing in his third Tour event of the year, Woods had ground his way to three under at the Farmers Insurance Open, before missing the cut at the Genesis Open earlier this month.

Woods combined three birdies with two bogeys, including picking up the crucial shot at 18 thanks to a neat chip approach from off the green.

Despite taking a step in the right direction, Woods was disappointed he did not get more out of his round.

Woods 'very pleased' with return

Despite continuing to struggle badly off the tee, Woods completed an even-par 72 at Torrey Pines' South Course to finish the week three under par in his first official start for 12 months.

The 14-time major champion had described his long game in round three as "gross" but took encouragement from his performance in rising winds on Sunday.

In a post-round interview with CBS Sports' Dottie Pepper, Woods said: "I played a lot better today, a lot better.

"It was tough conditions out there, it was tough scoring."

72-71-70-72

Spieth excited for unknown Tiger

Woods, a 14-time major winner, came back from an eight-month lay-off with back problems to play at the Hero World Challenge in December.

The former world number one placed ninth in the Bahamas and is keen to play a full schedule this year.

With Woods returning, an impending battle to displace Dustin Johnson at the top of the rankings and a host of emerging talent coming through, Spieth is anticipating a great year for golf.

Woods struggled to walk during recovery from back injury

The 14-time major winner underwent back surgery in April and was sidelined for almost 10 months.

The American made his return earlier in December with four rounds at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas,

"I hadn't played without pain for a long time - it was nice to just go out there and chill out," the 41-year-old wrote on his website.

"During that 10-month period I was away from the game, I had a hard time walking and often needed assistance getting out of bed.

"I appreciate competitive golf now more than I ever have."

Woods impresses on return as Fleetwood edges clear

The 41-year-old was back in action for the first time in 301 days on Thursday and showed glimpses of promise as he carded a three under 69.

Tommy Fleetwood leads the way in the Bahamas after a superb round, but all the focus surrounded Woods and his latest comeback.

After plenty of talk in the days building up to the event in Albany, Woods teed off with no signs of the back problems that have hampered his life over the past two years – the former world number one having four surgeries in that time.

Tiger Woods paired with Justin Thomas on PGA Tour comeback

Former world number one Woods has not played in nine months after his troublesome back injury flared up again, leading to a fourth surgery in April to remove a disk that was causing nerve pain.

Woods will make an eagerly awaited comeback at the Hero World Challenge, a tournament he has won five times, and will do alongside US PGA Championship victor Thomas

It marks the first time Thomas, who has six PGA Tour wins in the past 13 months, will play with Woods.

Tiger Woods says lack of back pain ‘just remarkable’ ahead of return

Woods' return this week will make it the 10th time he has returned from layoffs that were 10 weeks or longer.

His latest layoff was a result of his fourth back surgery, which was in April, to remove a disk that was causing nerve pain.  

"The fact that I don't have any pain in my lower back anymore compared to what I was living with for years... it's just remarkable,'' Woods is quoted by ESPN. 

Tiger Woods to return at Hero World Challenge in November

The competition in Albany, Bahamas, is not a PGA Tour event, but all eyes in the world of golf will be watching as Woods makes his long-awaited comeback from a persistent back injury on November 30.

The 18-player field will be a good benchmark for the 41-year-old to measure his progress, with six of the top eight in the world rankings - Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Thomas, Jason Day, and Rickie Fowler - scheduled to play.

Woods said: "I am excited to return to competitive golf at the Hero World Challenge.

Tiger Woods pleads guilty to reckless driving

The 14-time major winner appeared in front of a judge to enter his plea – with the state no longer pursuing a charge of DUI – before being put on probation for 12 months, hit with a fine of $250, ordered to pay $250 to victim services and entered into DUI school.

Woods must also undertake 50 hours of community service, amid a raft of probation conditions.

The 41-year-old was arrested on May 29 after police officers found him asleep at the wheel of his Mercedes, which was parked in a travel lane.