Tiger Woods has slightly changed the dates to his Hero World Challenge to accommodate one event in Australia. But another tournament will still be calling foul.
The Hero World Challenge, Woods’ non-official event featuring 18 of the world’s best in the Bahamas, is annually held in the beginning of December. A date that proved problematic for 2019, given the Presidents Cup – which will likely be comprised by at least half the Hero field – is the next week in Melbourne. That includes Woods, who will be the United States team captain and, thanks to his Masters victory, will likely qualify as a player. Even for golfers used to travelling from continent to continent, it’s a pretty tight turnaround.
“There are so many things that are up in the air,” Woods said at last year’s Hero. “One of the logistical things I’m trying to figure out is try to get where there’s like eight to 10 guys plus four or five more, and you’re getting close to 50 people from the Bahamas to Australia in time for a practice round, opening ceremonies and the event. We have our work ahead of us trying to logistically try to make this all happen.”
Keeping this itinerary in mind, Hero officials announced overnight that this year’s schedule has been moved to a Wednesday-Saturday timing, hoping the extra day provides enough breathing room for players competing in both events. The tournament will be held December 4-7.
Unfortunately, the date continues to coincide with the Australian Open. The once-prestigious event has been zapped of its star power over the years, partly thanks to the Hero, but Australian Open officials were hoping, with the Presidents Cup in their backyard, more US players would compete in Australia’s national championship.
For Woods’ part, he’s made it clear where he wants his American team to be.
“I hope they play at the Hero World Challenge – that’s an obvious one,” Woods said in Melbourne last December.
The 2019 Presidents Cup begins on December 12 at Royal Melbourne Golf Club, the site of the only International win in the event’s 25-year history.