Tiger Woods looking fit, healthy for golf comeback, says Justin Rose

Tiger Woods, a 14-time major champion, has not played since February when he withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic. (AFP)
Updated 24 November 2017
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Tiger Woods looking fit, healthy for golf comeback, says Justin Rose

HONG KONG: Justin Rose said Tiger Woods is looking fit, healthy and motivated ahead of his highly anticipated comeback at an exclusive charity tournament next week.
The pair will play together at the invitational Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas — Woods’ first tournament since February, after undergoing back surgery.
“I saw him a couple of weeks ago, he looked good. A couple of my friends have been playing with him, and said that he’s in good shape,” said Rose at the Hong Kong Open on Friday.
“That’s the most important thing.
“Obviously it’s always difficult coming off a full year or whatever it’s been without a scorecard in your hand.
“But he looks fit, healthy and I think from there he can play golf, right? He’s obviously got all the talent in the world.
“And I think he’s motivated too, which is great. If he puts his mind to something I’m sure he can achieve what his goals are.”
Woods, a 14-time major champion, has not played since February, when he withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic.
He underwent surgery in April, his fourth operation on his troublesome back, and has been posting videos of himself in practice.
Woods’ return from his latest injury is sure to draw intense scrutiny, but Rose said the Bahamas competition would provide the “perfect” opportunity for his return.
“It’s obviously great to have Tiger back, it’s the perfect event for him to come back to. It’s obviously a very small field.
“It’s pretty low-key — if there’s ever a low-key tournament for him. Wherever he plays he draws a pretty big attention and crowds and media.
“It’s just great to see him back feeling good within himself, and his golf can build from there.”
Rose was speaking after his second round at the Hong Kong Open, where he carded a one-under-par 69 in a turbulent round to leave him three shots off the morning leaders.
The Hero World Challenge — an invitational event to benefit Woods’ charity foundation — will take place from next Thursday in Albany, close to Rose’s home in the Bahamas.
Asked what can be expected from Woods on his comeback, Rose said: “I think just playing 72 holes.”
“If he performs like he did last time at the Hero that would be fantastic. I think he had 24 birdies. He led the field in birdies.
“He obviously had a bunch of mistakes which come from rustiness. But if we see that type of form that will be very encouraging.”
Woods last won a major in 2008, and has battled personal demons. In May, he was arrested for driving under the influence after being found asleep in his Mercedes-Benz by a roadside.
Woods, who was found to have five drugs including the powerful opioid hydrocodone in his system, later revealed he underwent professional treatment to help him manage his medications.
Under a plea agreement reached in Palm Beach County, north of Miami, Woods will avoid jail time unless he commits major violations of his probation.


Moroccan World Cup star Nordin Amrabat to play in Saudi Pro League

Updated 19 July 2018
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Moroccan World Cup star Nordin Amrabat to play in Saudi Pro League

  • Moroccan winger agrees to join Al-Nassr
  • Amrabat used to wash dishes and make desserts for a living

LONDON: Al-Nassr have signalled their intent to mount a challenge to the top two by boldly signing Nordin Amrabat from Premier League club Watford.
The 31-year-old winger has penned a three-year contract with the Riyadh club who finished third last season, 11 points behind Al-Ahli and 12 behind title winners Al-Hilal.
Reports say Al-Nassr have paid Watford £4 million ($5.2 million) for Amrabat, 31, who has spent the last season on loan at Leganes where his new Al-Nassr teammate Yahya Al-Shehri also played last season on loan.
“Happy and excited with my adventure,” Amrabat wrote on Instagram. “Looking forward to meet these amazing @alnassr_fc fans.”


Amrabat arrives with a fine pedigree, having played for PSV, Galatasaray, Malaga and Watford. He predominately plays on the right wing but he prefers playing on the left so he can cut inside on his favored right foot and have a crack at goal.
He is currently taking an extended holiday following his World Cup exploits with Morocco, but when he joins up he will find a familiar face in the dressing room in countryman Mohamed Fouzair and should form an exciting attacking partnership with Al-Shehri and Mohammad Al-Sahlawi.
Amrabat was in many experts’ team of the tournament after the World Cup group phase, his all-action performances against Iran, Spain and Portugal catching the eye and putting him in the shop window. He was always going to be surplus to requirements at Watford after they signed Spain international winger Gerard Deulofeu, and Trabzonspor were thought to be leading the race for his signature. But Al-Nassr have won the race to land him and he becomes the second ex-Watford player to have agreed to move to the Saudi Pro League, following on from Jose Manuel Jurado’s move to Al-Ahli earlier this summer.
Amrabat has enjoyed a fine career, playing nearly 300 top-flight appearances but he came from very humble beginnings and needed to wash plates and make desserts at a Michelin-starred restaurant before his career took off.