Tiger Woods made his first public appearance at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas since his February car crash, where he described the pain he has gone through post-accident and revealed his low expectations for his golf game.
The 15-time Major winner described his 2019 Masters triumph as "that last Major," hinting that he no longer believes he will win a 16th. Woods was very downbeat on his golf game and is simply thankful to not have lost his life or a leg.
He says that amputation was "on the table" after the horrific accident that saw him requiring a rod insterted into his leg and screws and pins inserted into his ankle, leading to the 46-year-old being bed-bound for 3 months.
"I'm lucky to be alive and still have the limb," he said. "Those are two crucial things. I’m very grateful that someone upstairs was taking care of me and I'm able not only to be here but also walk without a prosthesis."
Woods recalled "that last Major" and the journey he went on to win his fifth Green Jacket after having his spinal fusion surgery, a fourth of five back operations. Quite simply, he doesn't seem to believe he can make that journey again. "I don’t see that type of trend going forward for me given the condition of my leg and build up. It’s going to be a different way of doing it and I’m at peace with that. "
Woods, who is back chipping, putting and hitting golf shots, made constant reference to the world's best players and how difficult he sees competing against them in terms of the long game. "I’ll chip and putt any of these guys," he said whilst acknowledging that he now prefers to play golf from the forward tees and is shocked by how his shots fall out of the sky much shorter than they used to. "We’re not gonna be playing the pitch and putt at the Masters," he joked.
The 82-time PGA Tour winner, who pledged his allegiance to the Tour where his entire legacy lies, hopes to be able to compete again one day but admits he has an awfully long way to go.
"I got that last Major, I ticked off two more events along the way [2018 Tour Championship and 2019 Zozo Championship]. I don't foresee this leg ever being what it used to be, clock’s ticking, I’m not getting any younger. A full schedule, a full practice schedule and the recovery, no I don’t have any desire to do that.
"There’s no reason why I can’t do that [play in a PGA Tour event again]. I may not be tournament sharp, I know the recipe for it i’ve just got to get to a point where i can feel comfortable enough where I can do that again."
Get the Golf Monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to the Golf Monthly newsletter to stay up to date with all the latest tour news, equipment news, reviews, head-to-heads and buyer’s guides from our team of experienced experts.
Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TSR4
3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL
Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
Defending Champion Overlooked For Exemption Spot In Upcoming Korn Ferry Tour Event
Zack Fischer said that he is "incredibly disappointed" to be unable to defend his title at the Argentina Open
By Jonny Leighfield Published
Who Is Ben Silverman? 15 Facts You Didn't Know About The PGA Tour Golfer
Get to know PGA Tour golfer Ben Silverman a little better with these 15 facts about his life and career
By Jonny Leighfield Published