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Will Tiger Woods make a PGA Tour return? What has happened since his historic Zozo Championship win?

Tiger Woods claimed a three-shot victory over Hideki Matsuyama in the 2019 contest for a record-equalling 82nd PGA Tour title; former world No 1 has made just three official starts since being injured in a car crash in February 2021

The PGA Tour is back in Japan this week for the Zozo Championship, three years on from Tiger Woods creating more golfing history with his most recent victory.

Woods is a notable absentee from this week's field at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club, the venue where he equalled Sam Snead's record for most PGA Tour wins by claiming a three-shot victory and 82nd title in the 2019 contest.

The former world No 1's victory followed a 15th major title at The Masters earlier in the year, although injuries and a career-threatening car crash have left Woods playing a limited schedule in the seasons since his last success.

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Tiger Woods tells Sky Sports he has no plans to retire at the moment but admits this may have been his last chance to win an Open at St Andrews.

How did Woods win the Zozo Championship?

Woods' appearance in the 2019 tournament was his first worldwide start since undergoing knee surgery at the end of the previous campaign, with the American recovering from bogeying his first three holes of the week to card a six-under 64 and grab a share of the early lead.

Heavy rain saw Friday's action wiped out and the second round take place without spectators, Woods birdieing his final two holes to open up a two-shot advantage at the halfway stage.

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The lead increased to three strokes after a four-under 66, with Woods retaining the same cushion over the field when he returned on Monday morning to play his final seven holes.

Hideki Matsuyama briefly got within two of the lead after Woods bogeyed the 12th, only for the former world No 1 to pick up a shot the 14th and sign off his wire-to-wire win with a final-hole birdie.

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Relive how Tiger Woods reflected on securing a record-equalling 82nd PGA Tour title at the Zozo Championship.

Where has Woods played in recent years?

Woods hasn't featured in a regular PGA Tour event since the 2020 Zozo Championship, held in California due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, where he finished tied-72nd as Patrick Cantlay claimed a one-shot victory.

The five-time Masters champion competed at Augusta National the following month, with the traditional opening men's major of the year switched to November because of the pandemic, then underwent back surgery after the PNC Championship ahead of the new season.

Woods suffered severe leg and ankle injuries in a car crash in February 2021, ruling him out of all the majors that season, with a return to the PNC Championship alongside his son Charlie in the December of that year his only other competitive appearance.

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Highlights from Team Woods' final round at the 2021 PNC Championship, where Tiger and his son, Charlie, fired eleven straight birdies to charge up the leaderboard.

A 47th-placed finish in a long-awaited return to action at The Masters was one of only three official events played so far in 2022, with Woods making a mid-tournament withdrawal from the PGA Championship and then skipping the US Open ahead of his appearance in The 150th Open.

Woods arrived at St Andrews looking to create more major history, at the venue where he had already lifted the Claret Jug twice, only to fail to progress beyond 36 holes for just the fourth time in his long Open career.

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Tiger Woods made an emotional walk down the 18th hole at St Andrews to a standing ovation after missing the cut at the 150th Open Championship. 

When and where will Woods play next?

Woods told reporters after his missed cut at The Open he had "nothing planned" when discussing his future schedule, adding that it may be "sometime next year" before he competes again.

It would be a surprise not to see Woods at the Hero World Challenge in December, a limited-field event in the Bahamas supporting his charities, although his name was not listed in the initial 17 players confirmed to be teeing it up from December 1-4.

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Woods can still take one of the three vacant slots in the at 20-player line-up, while he is also likely to feature alongside his son Charlie from December 17-18 in the two-day PNC Championship.

"I'm hoping that he will play maybe in December at the Hero [World Challenge] and the Father-Son [PNC Championship] and maybe the Genesis [Invitational]," caddie Joe LaCava told the Dan Patrick Show earlier in the summer. "I'm still hoping he'll play three, maybe four tournaments before The Masters."

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Sky Sports' Wayne Riley expects to see Woods tee it up in at least one PGA Tour event before he heads to Augusta National, although warns it may not be until 2023 until we see him play tournament golf.

"The way I feel, I think it will be Florida Swing," Riley said. "Maybe we'll see him at the Honda Classic, as that's where he lives. Maybe we'll see him at Arnold Palmer Invitational or The Players. He'll play before he plays The Masters, but he'll have time out now as well."

Watch the Zozo Championship throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Thursday from 4am on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event.

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