Close Friend Of Tiger Gives Update On Return - "I Don’t See It Happening In The Next 12 Months”

Former PGA Tour player, John Cook, who is a close friend of Tiger Woods, believes it'll be another 12 months before he returns to competitive golf.

Tiger Woods Hits A Drive
(Image credit: Getty Images)

At the PNC Championship in December, the golfing world was treated to a sight that perhaps they thought they may never see again... Tiger Woods playing a competitive round of golf.

This was because only 10 months prior to the event, Tiger was involved in a serious car accident that left him with the possibility of amputation of his right leg. “I’m lucky to be alive and to still have the limb," said Tiger in early December. "I’m very grateful that someone upstairs was taking care of me … (amputation) was on the table.”

Remarkably, Tiger made an unbelievable recovery and, what's almost as amazing, is that alongside his son Charlie, the father and son duo managed to finish in the runner-up spot, only two shots back of John Daly and John Daly II.

Tiger Woods Hugs Son Charlie

Tiger and Charlie set a tournament record 11 straight birdies at the PNC Championship.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

However, throughout the build-up of the event, Tiger himself was heavily downplaying any possibility of a PGA Tour return soon. He did admit that "it is realistic I'll playing the Tour one day, but never full time, ever again, but pick and choose, just like Mr. [Ben] Hogan did."

Now, it seems that one of Tiger's close friends has echoed those words. John Cook, who has 11 PGA Tour wins under his belt, is one of the select few in Woods’ bubble, and the American thinks we’ll have to wait a long time to see the 15-time Major champion play on Tour again.

“I don’t see it in the next 12 months,” Cook told the Golf Channel. “I think next time we see him will be [at the PNC Championship] next year [in 2022]. I don’t think his body will be physically ready. He can’t train the way he’s going to want to train.” 

Tiger Woods Drives Golf Cart

The 15-time Major champion used a golf cart throughout the event.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Despite this, Cook does think Tiger has his sights set on a return — just not anytime soon. “He’s never been a ‘show up’ guy if his game isn’t ready for prime time,” Cook explained. 

“[But] I see it happening at some point otherwise he wouldn’t be testing a ball, shaping shots on the practice tee, working on a new driver that he likes. I think there’s a motive to that.”

Cook, who spoke to Woods following the PNC Championship, did have this to add “Talking to him, he was pretty open and honest. He said he was exhausted. He saw enough good stuff with his short clubs and his feel, but the long irons were falling out of the sky, but that was just from some mishits. But he said, ‘I’ll get that.’"

Although it is unclear as to when Tiger will make his PGA Tour return, what we do know is it feels so good to see him back in the golfing environment. 

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x