WATCH: Tiger Woods confident ahead of long-awaited return

Tiger Woods admits he will be nervous on his first competitive start for over 15 months but insists he is not worried about the state of his game or his body.

The 14-time major winner makes his return at the Hero World Challenge, a tournament he is hosting in the Bahamas, having been sidelined since August 2015 by two back operations.

He was scheduled to return at the Safeway Open in October but withdrew three days before the start of the event, admitting that his game was "vulnerable".

The Hero World Challenge offers a gentler re-introduction, involving only an 18-man field which includes 11 of his team-mates who were involved in the United States' Ryder Cup victory two months ago.

However, that comfort zone will only get Woods so far.

Asked how he will feel, he told a press conference: "I don't know I've been away from it for a long time.

"I've been away from golf at periods in my career but the longest was nine months after I had my knee reconstructed.

"There are nerves of course, I care about what I do out there.

"I want to win, place the ball in the correct spots and bury the putts - trying to work that out of course there are nerves.

"It is about controlling it and getting into the flow of the round.

"I remember after my dad died I came back at Winged Foot (the 2006 US Open) and I didn't find the flow of the round until the fifth or sixth hole and by then I was already two, three or four over par and that hurt.

"I need to find the flow of the round quick and hopefully I can do that.

"The most concern (I have) is trying to get a feel for distance as I haven't had adrenaline in my system for a while and having that surge in my system, how much further is that ball going to be going?

"I have always been pretty good at hitting the ball pin-high and I am concerned about that and whether my body will be feeling the energy.

"But as far as concerns besides that, no. (I feel) Confident."

Last year's champion Bubba Watson won with a 25-under total and Woods admits it will be difficult for him to get anywhere near that level.

However, what he does intend to do is keep pace with players who are in much better form.

"I will do what I can do and try to post scores and get myself in that mix come Sunday afternoon," he added.

"I know that is a tall order because I've been away from the game for so long and I've made a lot of different changes in my game - but the mindset is still the same.

"Equipment, practice schedules and training has evolved but the mindset of competing hasn't.

"I have to go out there and try to beat these guys because I know they are going out there to try to beat me."

Woods has not won a major since he made the 2008 US Open his 14th but the man whose target he is chasing - Jack Nicklaus - will not concede his record of 18 is secure for some time to come.

"I've always thought that he's got at least another 10 years of good competitive golf in front of him, if he's healthy and as talented as he is," he told BBC Sport.

"I don't think anything is safe."

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