Tiger Woods says he doesn’t “have any desire” to play full-time on the PGA Tour again, but that doesn’t rule out a comeback in any manner.
Woods gave few answers on his playing future to media Tuesday at the Hero World Challenge, the first time he has faced questions since his single-car accident in February. He did acknowledge, though, that he has a “far way to go” with his wounded right leg.
“As far as playing on the Tour,” he remarked, “I’m not sure when that’ll happen.”
It wasn’t sure whether Woods could play a “round here or there, a little hit and giggle, something like that” his son Charlie at the PNC Championship in December. 18-19 in Orlando. Last week, tournament officials told Golfweek that they were holding a last-minute slot in the lineup for Woods if he felt ready.
Woods, who has been injured for the greater part of a decade, said he spoke with his family whether he should try again if his body cooperated. Although the group agreed, Woods stated that he “hasn’t determined whether or not I want to get to that point.”
“I’ve got to get my leg to a position where I can make that decision,” he explained. “We’ll see what happens when I get there, but this leg still has a long way to go.”
Instead, Woods restated his desire to play a Ben Hogan-style schedule of only a few events per year – most likely the majors – and that he was unable, and possibly unwilling, to commit to a complete practice program. His latest ailment left Woods immobile for three months, according to Woods, who has had 10 surgeries in his career (five back, five knee). On Tuesday, a reporter asked Woods if he was in agony while sitting behind the dais fielding questions, and he said yes.
“My back and leg hurt,” he explained.
Woods claimed he has played whole holes at this point in his rehabilitation, but not from his regular tee markers.
“I don’t think this leg will ever be what it used to be, so the back will never be what it used to be, and the clock is ticking.” Woods, who will turn 46 next month, added, “I’m growing older; I’m not getting any younger.” “All of that combined means that a full schedule and full practice schedule, as well as the recovery time required, is something I don’t want to accomplish.” But there’s no reason why I can’t scale up a few tournaments a year and feel prepared.
“I may not be tournament sharp in the sense that I haven’t competed in tournaments, but I believe that if you practice properly – and I’ve come back from surgeries and long layoffs before, and I’ve won or come close to winning before, so I know the recipe for it – you can get to a point where you feel comfortable enough to do that again.”