Both players, beloved by their peers and fans alike, are currently in the field at next week’s Sony Open in Hawaii—the first full-field event on the PGA Tour in 2024.
Woodland last played at the Wyndham Championship in August, where he tied for 27th. A few weeks later—days after the Tour Championship—Woodland announced that he needed to have surgery to remove a brain lesion.
“I wanted to share a recent health development with you,” Woodland wrote on Aug. 30, 2023. “I was diagnosed a few months ago and have been trying to treat symptoms with medication.”
“After consulting with multiple specialists and discussing with my family, we’ve made the decision that surgery to remove the lesion is the best course of action. I’m in good spirits with my family and team by my side and so thankful for the love and support of everyone.”
Luckily for Woodland, he underwent successful surgery on Sept. 18 and has been resting and recuperating since.
His return to Wai’alae Country Club for the Sony Open will be his first tournament since the operation. No matter how the 2019 U.S. Open winner finishes, his appearance in Honolulu will undoubtedly be an incredible accomplishment.
The Sony Open in Hawaii (January 11-14) is the second tournament of the 2024 PGA TOUR Season and first Full-Field Event.
— PGA TOUR Communications (@PGATOURComms) January 5, 2024
As for Zalatoris, he last played at the Hero World Challenge in December.
He struggled in the Bahamas, finishing in last place by a country mile. But it had been a while since he had teed it up.
Prior to playing at Tiger Woods’ event, Zalatoris last teed it up at the 2023 Masters—or at least tried to. Just minutes before his opening round tee times, he felt a pop in his back on the driving range at Augusta National.
It forced him to withdraw.
Three days later, the former Wake Forest Demon Deacon found himself in a hospital bed awaiting back surgery. He would go on to miss the rest of the 2023 season because of his back.
But with these health issues now in the rearview mirror, both Woodland and Zalatoris can look ahead and focus on the game they love playing.
And the PGA Tour—and its fans—will love having them back too.