On Tuesday morning, Tiger Woods sat down in front of a microphone for the first time in nine months. He’s been recovering from a devastating car accident from late February that left him with multiple fractures up and down his right leg, and he’s finally healthy enough to walk on his own and swing a golf club again.
Golf fans were eager to hear what Woods had to say about eventually returning to the PGA Tour, but he sounded just as unsure about a comeback as we are.
Tiger Woods admits this has been his most difficult recovery yet
Woods has dealt with a myriad of injuries over the course of his professional golf career. But ruptured ACLs, torn Achilles tendons, and five back surgeries weren’t enough to keep him away from the PGA Tour. Tiger miraculously returned from all of his major injuries and surgeries to win again at golf’s highest level.
However, in his highly anticipated press conference on Tuesday ahead of the Hero World Challenge, Woods said none of his previous injuries compare to this one.
“This one’s been much more difficult,” Woods said. “With this right leg, it’s just hard to explain how difficult it’s been. Just to be immobile for three months and just lay there. I was just looking forward to getting outside. That was a goal of mine, especially for a person who has lived his entire life outside.”
Woods suffered comminuted open fractures in his right tibia and fibula during a scary car accident near Los Angeles back in February, and he just recently started walking on his own.
“I’m on the better side of it, but I still got a long way to go,” he said.
Woods is still uncertain about his PGA Tour future
After videos and images appeared online in recent weeks showing Woods walking on his own and even swinging a golf club on the range, fans started to get excited about his return to professional golf.
On Tuesday, a reporter asked Woods if he had a target tournament in mind for his return, but the 45-year-old immediately pumped the brakes on that idea.
As far as playing at the Tour level, I don’t know when that is going to happen.
I’ll play a round here and there, a little hit and giggle, I can do something like that. The USGA suggests play forward, I really like that idea now. I don’t like that the tees are on the back.Tiger Woods
Despite being able to swing a club by himself again, Woods isn’t even close to being able to compete at the professional level yet.
“To see some of my shots fall out of the sky a lot shorter than they used to is a little eye-opening,” he said. “But at least I’m able to do it again. That’s something that for a while there didn’t look like I was going to. I’m able to participate in the sport of golf. Now to what level, I do not know that.”
A cause for concern?
Woods has never ruled out a return to the PGA Tour after previous injuries, but his recent comments on his current recovery leave much to be desired for fans. The Hall of Famer seems to be content with his life away from golf, and it sounds as if he isn’t trying to rush back to professional golf.
In a recent interview with Golf Digest, Woods admitted he will never be able to compete as a full-time PGA Tour player again.
“I think something that is realistic is playing the Tour one day — never full time, ever again — but pick and choose, just like Mr. (Ben) Hogan did,” he said. “Pick and choose a few events a year and you play around that.”
Tiger’s first public comments in a long time paint a grim picture for his PGA Tour future. We might see him compete in a Tour event at some point along the way, but Woods doesn’t sound confident that he’ll ever come close to winning again.
Even still, count Tiger out at your own risk.