Tiger Woods details ‘realistic’ plans for PGA Tour return, would like to ‘pick’ out events played


On Monday, Tiger Woods sat down for an interview for the first time since a car crash in February left him with debilitating injuries to his left leg and either in a hospital bed or in a wheelchair for several months thereafter.

Eight days ago Woods posted a video of himself swinging a club on a driving range, and of course the “what does this mean for Augusta ??” reflections rained over the next few days. However, Tiger revealed in his Monday chat with Golf Digest that it means very little to Augusta and that expectations should almost certainly be lower than they are now for the rest of her career.

“I think something realistic is to play the Tour someday – never full time, never again – but choose and choose, just like Mr. [Ben] Hogan did it, “Woods told Digest.” Pick a few events a year and you play around that. “

“I don’t have to compete and play against the best players in the world to have a good life,” he added. “After my back fusion I had to climb Mount Everest once more. I had to do it, and I did. [with the 2019 Masters win]. This time around I don’t think I’ll have the body to climb Mount Everest and that’s okay. I can still play golf. I can always, if my leg is okay, I can always click on a tournament here or there. But in terms of climbing the mountain again and getting to the top, I don’t think that’s a realistic expectation of me. “

Woods, who also reminded everyone of all back surgeries (he also had one earlier this year), was almost melancholy with some of his quotes. Not like “you should have pity on me”, but more like “I’m just happy to be alive after what happened in February”. Some of his quotes were almost hauntingly beautiful. He said that while he was lying down and even during his time in a wheelchair, he would just look out the window and, like any game addict, wanted to connect a single wedge with a single golf ball.

“… I like to go out and just be outside,” he said. “Sometimes I just crutch and lie on the grass for an hour because I want to be outside. Missing the touch of a properly hit golf ball is one of the best sensations.”

“It’s a tough road,” he added. “But I’m just happy that I can go over there and watch Charlie play, or go out into the backyard and spend an hour or two on my own with no one talking, no music, nothing. I just hear the birds chirping. I missed that part sorely. “

It is all fascinating. Woods’ expectations of himself have always been almost comically high. Do you remember competing in the 2008 US Open when he broke his leg and tore his ACL? A few days before that, Woods – knowing all this – said, “I’m good to go. I plan to play competitively.”

It’s very different from what he’s saying now. Tiger knows his body and he knows his completely absurd victory at the 2019 Masters was his last major league win. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have said what he said in the Digest interview, and he wouldn’t have designed the future as he designed it. Many felt that Tiger could once again reach the top of the sport. He’s not the one throwing in the towel, but it’s something to do with it when it comes to the majors. Its good. And even better, Tiger looks OK with it.

So even if he’s ambitious that Woods is aiming to replay – perhaps at the 150th Open Championship in St. Andrews next summer? – and it will be a joy to watch it when we can. These quotes are as official an end as possible to Jack Nicklaus’ pursuit of the 18 Major Championships. That’s not the story here, however. The really festive tale is that after driving his SUV so many times in Los Angeles 10 months ago, Tiger is pretty healthy and capable enough to hunt anything.


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