By Elliott Heath published
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."
Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered three Open Championships on-site including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats between 3-5. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Honma TR20
3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max
Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max
Irons: Mizuno MP5
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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