GOLF

Woods Says A Return To The Top Not A ‘Realistic Expectation’

Nov 30, 2021, 10:09 AM
Tiger Woods plays a shot during a practice round prior to The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Vill...
Tiger Woods plays a shot during a practice round prior to The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club on July 14, 2020 in Dublin, Ohio. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — Tiger Woods says he expects to play golf again, just not very often, and he doesn’t see himself reaching the top of the sport again because “I don’t think that’s a realistic expectation of me.”

He says he can see himself picking certain tournaments to play, but not a full-time schedule.

His extensive video interview with Golf Digest, with whom he has a financial relationship, was published Monday ahead of his first press conference since his right leg was badly damaged in a Feb. 23 car crash in the Los Angeles suburbs.

Woods is the tournament host of the Hero World Challenge.

The 15-time major champion raised hopes of another comeback when Woods posted a three-second video hitting a short iron with the message, “Making progress.”

He didn’t make it sound as though a return was around the corner.

“I have so far to go,” he said. “I’m not even at the halfway point. I have so much more muscle development and nerve development that I have to do in my leg. At the same time, as you know, I’ve had five back operations. So I’m having to deal with that. So as the leg gets stronger, sometimes the back may act up.”

Woods was recovering from another back procedure at the start of the year when he ran his SUV over a median and it toppled down a steep hill on a winding, sweeping road in the Los Angeles suburbs on his way to a television shoot at a golf course.

Doctors said he shattered tibia and fibula bones in his right leg in multiple locations. Those were stabilized by a rod in the tibia. A combination of screws and pins were used to stabilize additional injuries in the ankle and foot.

He last played at the PNC Championship with his son, Charlie, and then had a fifth back procedure that kept him out the early part of the year before the accident.

Woods already had one remarkable comeback, winning the Masters in 2019 after fusion surgery, his fourth on his lower back. He won the Zozo Championship in Japan later in the year for his 82nd career victory on the PGA Tour, tying Sam Snead for the all-time record.

“I don’t have to compete and play against the best players in the world to have a great life. After my back fusion, I had to climb Mt. Everest one more time. I had to do it, and I did. This time around, I don’t think I’ll have the body to climb Mt. Everest, and that’s OK. I can still participate in the game of golf. I can still, if my leg gets OK, I can still click off a tournament here or there.

“But as far as climbing the mountain again and getting all the way to the top, I don’t think that’s a realistic expectation of me.”

Woods is to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in March. The Masters is the first full week of April. Woods didn’t have a timetable, only that he wished the recovery was going faster than it was.

He said he could envision a career like Ben Hogan after his near-fatal car accident. Hogan played a limited schedule, though he still dominated the majors, including winning all three that he played in 1953.

“I think something that is realistic is playing the tour one day — never full-time ever again — but pick and choose, just like Mr. Hogan did. Pick and choose a few events a year and you play around that,” he said.

“I think that’s how I’m going to have to play it from now on,” he said. “It’s an unfortunate reality, but it’s my reality. And I understand it, and I accept it.”

Golf

Tiger Woods TGR Design...
Chandler Holt

Tiger Woods, TGR Design To Open 18-Hole Golf Course In Utah

Tiger Woods and his golf course design firm, TGR Design, announced an 18-hole golf course, the first of its kind in the Mountain West.
2 days ago
Tom-Finau-PGA-Tour-2023...
Kyle Ireland

Tony Finau Featured In Netflix’s ‘Full Swing’ Series On Golf

PGA Tour standout Tony Finau landed on the cast for Netflix's upcoming documentary series on golf called "Full Swing."
3 days ago
Tony-Finau-PGA-The-American-Express...
Kyle Ireland and Tom Hackett, KSL Sports

Tony Finau Finishes In Top 20 At The American Express Tournament

Native Utahn and PGA Tour golfer Tony Finau finishes inside the top 20 on the leaderboard at The American Express tournament.
18 days ago
Tony-Finau-Tee-Shot-Overlooking-Ocean-mountains-Sentry-tournament-of-champions-2022...
Tom Hackett

Tony Finau Begins 2023 With Top-10 Finish In Hawaii

Tony Finau has begun his 2023 campaign with a top-10 finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, six shots back of champion Jon Rahm. 
1 month ago
Patrick-Reed-hits-driver-at-LIV-Golf-event...
Doug Ferguson, AP

Masters To Keep Criteria, Invite All Eligible Players In ’23

Players who left the PGA Tour to join LIV Golf are welcome at the Masters next year, despite Augusta National officials disappointment.
2 months ago
Tiger-Woods-Charlie-Woods-Walk-by-green-at-2022-PNC-Championship...
Doug Ferguson, AP

Singh & Son Finally Win PNC As Woods Can’t Make Up Ground

Vijay Singh and his son finally cashed in on the PNC Championship while Tiger Woods and his son, Charlie, settled for a top 10 finish.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
jimmy-buffett-tour-art...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
Woods Says A Return To The Top Not A ‘Realistic Expectation’