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Tiger says he appreciates competitive golf now more than ever

Tiger Woods did some reflecting before turning the calendar page.

“I can’t express in words how great it felt to be back in the arena and how much I missed it,” he wrote on his website Friday following his recent return to the professional arena at the Hero World Championship in the Bahamas.

Woods also noted that he wants to play a full schedule in 2018, but that’s still an unknown as he continues to monitor his health after a fourth back surgery. In February, he will be at the Riviera Country Club for the Genesis Open “one way or another.”

He added that he is now hitting the ball more than a full-club longer than prior to his fusion surgery.

Tiger Woods is excited about 2018 season after finally shaking the back woes of the past.

(Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

“I appreciate competitive golf now more than I ever have,” he wrote. “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. To go from that and be able to play golf – I hadn’t played without pain for a long time – it was nice to just go out there and chill out, have fun with the guys and needle them. The next step was competition.”

In his return to golf in the Bahamas, Woods led the tournament at one point before finishing in a tied for ninth. He shot 8-under for the tournament. He took a week off before getting back to training.

“Now, I feel I’ve taken it to another level,” he said. “I’ve started practicing again and was out with Justin (Thomas) the other day and had a good time. I’m continuing to progress and trying to get strong enough to where I can handle a workload again.”

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