Tiger Woods Feared He Would Never Play Competitive Golf Again


Published on November 30 2016 6:18 am
Last Updated on November 30 2016 6:18 am


His situation was so dire a year ago that Tiger Woods admitted on Tuesday that he feared never playing competitive golf again.

Woods spoke at a news conference at Albany Golf Club in advance of the Hero World Challenge, where the 14-time major champion is set to return after a 15-month absence because of two back surgeries and a lengthy rehabilitation and recovery process.

"Not being able to get out of bed, not being able to move, how can I expect to come out here and swing a golf club at 120 miles an hour and be ballistic when I can't even get out of bed?" Woods said. "So, yeah, there was a lot of trepidation and times where I thought ... was it realistic?

"When I had my knee redone and it was completely blown, I knew it was nine months, but I knew I could come back from it. It's not nerve damage. When you're dealing with a spine, when you're dealing with nerves, it's a totally different deal."

Woods was six weeks removed from the second of two back procedures in the fall of 2015. He was not allowed to swing a golf club and had yet to begin a serious rehabilitation program. His exercise was limited to walking, and Woods admitted that he could not "see the light at the end of the tunnel."

A year later, after an aborted return in early October at the Safeway Open, Woods, 40, says he is ready to compete in the annual tournament that benefits his foundation. And he has a much better outlook.

"Yeah, I can play," he said. "I can play, I can compete and hopefully I can get out there and shoot something."

Woods could not resist his usual mantra that he is here to win, but he acknowledged "that's going to be a tall order. I haven't played in a while. But hey, I'm going to give it my best. I'm going to be focused, I'm going to do what I can do and put the ball in the correct spots, give myself looks and try to bury these putts and post scores, and get myself in the mix come Sunday afternoon."