Tiger Woods revealed in a Monday interview with Golf Digest news that no golf fans wanted to hear: He doesn’t plan on ever returning to play the sport full time.
Woods — whose interview with Golf Digest is the first since his car crash in February — posted a Nov. 21 video on social media of himself hitting golf balls. That caused fans to get excited about Woods’ potential return to the PGA Tour. Fans now have their answer about his return to professional golf.
“I think something that is realistic is playing the tour one day — never full time, ever again — but pick and choose, just like Mr. (Ben) Hogan did. Pick and choose a few events a year and you play around that,” Woods said. “You practice around that, and you gear yourself up for that. I think that’s how I’m going to have to play it from now on. It’s an unfortunate reality, but it’s my reality. And I understand it, and I accept it.”
MORE: Tiger Woods posts first video of him hitting balls since car accident
Woods revealed in his interview that he is still recovering from comminuted open fractures to both the upper and lower portions of his tibia and fibula in his right leg, which he suffered from his car crash in February. He has slowly been progressing since then. At first, he was cleared to use a putter, which he had to have lengthened since he can’t stand up the way he used to. Then, he got clearance to do limited swinging practices, which led to him posting the swinging video. However, Woods says he still has a long way to go before he can return to the PGA Tour even on a limited basis.
“I have so far to go … I’m not even at the halfway point,” Woods said. “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. … It’s a tough road.
“But I’m just happy to be able to go out there and watch Charlie play, or go in the backyard and have an hour or two by myself with no one talking, no music, no nothing. I just hear the birds chirping. That part I’ve sorely missed.”
MORE: Tiger Woods discusses injuries from crash, gives update on recovery
Charlie is Woods’ 12-year-old son who has taken up golfing. Woods has been seen at a few of Charlie’s golf tournaments this year.
Woods will make his first public appearance since the crash this week at the Hero World Challenge, which he hosts. He plans to speak with media on Tuesday ahead of the tournament in the Bahamas. So, it definitely appears that Woods’ recovery is progressing. But there is still no clear indication of when, or if, Woods will make a return to the PGA Tour. The Masters — the last golf major Woods has won — is scheduled for April 4-10 2022.
MORE: What to know about Tiger Woods’ surgery, recovery following car crash
“There’s a lot to look forward to, a lot of hard work to be done — being patient and progressing at a pace that is aggressive but not over the top. Obviously, when I get in the gym and I get flowing and the endorphins get going, I want to go, go, go,” Woods said. “That’s how I’ve been able to win so many tournaments. But then again, everyone reminds me at what cost?
“Look at you now. Pre-accident I was what? Ten surgeries. That’s just the wear and tear of doing my sport, of just trying to push it to win everything I possibly can. To win every single tournament I played in, I would do everything I possibly could.”