Tiger Woods back and firing

Tiger Woods of the USA in action during practice for the BMW Championship at Medinah Country Club on August 13, 2019 (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods of the USA in action during practice for the BMW Championship at Medinah Country Club on August 13, 2019 (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

After last competing in February due to injury and before golf came to a halt, one of the world's golf greats was back on the green.

After withdrawing from tournaments due to a back injury, Tiger Woods teamed up with former NFL player Peyton Manning to beat golfer Phil Mickelson and six-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady in a charity golf match on Sunday.

The 44-year-old showed glimpses of his old-self as he swung freely throughout the match. The last time he played was on 16 February before he pulled out of the Bay Hill and the Players Championship, which were both later abandoned after one round due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Until this past Sunday, Woods had been battling to get back the fitness which had seen him win his 15th major in 2019, which was a stellar year for the American golfer. An off-season knee surgery didn't seem to faze Woods last year as he won his record-tying 82nd PGA Tour title before showing his precision at the Presidents Cup in Australia, posting a 3-0 record as a playing captain.

Despite the rain threatening to spoil golf's second comeback event, Woods looked comfortable playing at the Medalist Golf Club, his home course, in Florida.

The match, which raised millions of dollars for COVID-19 relief efforts in the United States, followed Olympic hopeful Rory McIIroy's skins event last week involving Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff.

Tokyo 2020 spot up for grabs

The Olympic Games fields are chosen based on world rankings, with the cut off date extended to 21 June 2021 due to the postponement of Tokyo 2020 until summer next year.

Only 60 golfers - male and female - will qualify for the Olympics with no more than four players from one country able to qualify.

Before the world rankings were frozen in mid-March, Woods was 11th and the 7th highest American.

So while his hopes are still alive to qualify, it will be a tough battle to get amongst the top four American men.

Late last year at a tournament, Woods had reiterated his will to play at the Olympic Games, "it would be an honour to represent my country".

Woods missed out on Rio 2016 - where golf made it's long-awaited return after disappearing from the Olympic Programme for 112 years - after he was sidelined with injuries preventing him from qualifying.

Golf to return

The PGA Tour is set to be one of the first professional sports to return in the United States with plans to resume the season on 11 June in Texas before the LPGA return on 23 July in Ohio.

The first three PGA events will all be played without fans in attendance while both players and their caddies expected to comply with medical questionnaires, temperature testing and PCR nasal swabs.

Players will finish the final 10 tournaments of the 2019-20 season before the 2020-21 is schedule to begin in early September.

The PGA Championship is scheduled for 6 August with the US Open and the Masters coming in the later fall of the year.