Charles Howell III has backed Tiger Woods to once again prove the doubters wrong and return to winners' circle sooner or later. The 15-time Major champion withdrew ahead of the final round of last week's PGA Championship as the injuries suffered in last year's horror crash left him hobbling and struggling to load and push off his right leg.
It led to many saying that Woods should consider calling time on an illustrious career that has seen him scale just about every golfing mountain possible. But that will only fuel his fire further says Howell III, who knows Woods better than most from their time playing together in Orlando.
Asked by Colt Knost on Golf.com's Subpar podcast whether he thought Woods could ascend to the top of one more leaderboard, he said: "I do, and I only say that because it is Tiger Woods. The more people that doubt him, the more people say that he can’t do it, he lives for that. I mean, that is why he gets up out of bed in the morning.
"Because, hey, listen, we all know financially he doesn’t need to play. We all know he loves hanging around Charlie and Sam. We all know he has different business ventures. So it’s not like he doesn’t have other things to do and other things to occupy his time.
"He is only doing this to win. And trust me, there is a deep-seeded part of him in there that he is doing this also to prove people wrong. And when he gets bull-headed in that way, he usually does it."
Woods has only played competitively twice during his latest comeback and has shown glimpses of his very best golf, as well as an abundance of the sheer grit and determination that made him such an unstoppable force in his prime.
To his credit, the 46-year-old made the cut at both The Masters and the PGA Championship, a feat that even some of the current cream of the crop failed to match.
However, at Southern Hills, after exhausting himself en route to a one-under 69 on Friday, Tiger laboured in the cold conditions that swept through the Tulsa area on Moving Day, battling to a nine-over 79 that left many struggling to watch.
At the moment it's unclear when Tiger will tee it up next. The US Open will likely be the earliest he will return to action but fans of the sporting icon may have to wait until the 150th Open at St Andrews in July.
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A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.
Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.
As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.
What's in Andy's bag?
Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)
3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (15°)
Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)
Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)
Putter: TaylorMade Spider X
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
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