The popular version of Tiger Woods, the golfer with the insatiable drive to win trophy after trophy, may be a thing of the past.
Woods, yet to fully recover from his February car crash, believes that he is a long way from competing at the top level.
“As far as playing at the Tour level goes, I don’t know when that’s going to happen. I’ll play a round here or there – a little hit and giggle. To see some of my shots fall out of the sky a lot shorter than they used to is eye-opening,” Woods said in a media interaction here on Tuesday.
Woods, who suffered major injuries to his leg as a result of the crash, arrived here as the host of the Hero World Challenge. Woods, however, will not feature in the playing field.
Woods says a return to the top not a ‘realistic expectation’
The 15-time Major winner stated he feared losing his leg. “I could have lost my leg on the surgery table. When I woke up (from the surgery), I tested it. I felt the full weight on both legs. I thought
“Okay, I didn’t lose my leg. That’s a positive’. After that, we had a few more procedures before I could get out of the hospital. But I’m alive. I didn’t lose a limb. I’m very thankful for that,” he said.
“My mental space is a lot better now. Right after the accident, I wasn’t able to do much. Being able to get outside, even if it’s just walking across my property, was awesome. I’m not a 9 to 5 guy, who clocks in and clocks out. I’m an outdoor guy. Staying indoors was the hard part,” Woods said.
In 2019, Woods scripted a famous comeback from a fusion surgery on his back to win the Masters. This time around, though, there is unlikely to be a fairytale run.
“I don’t see that type of (comeback) trend going forward for me. I won’t have the opportunity to practice, given the condition of my leg,” Woods, 45, said.
The mental and physical grind of working his way to the top does not appeal to Woods. “I don’t foresee this leg ever being what it used to be. The clock is ticking; I’m not getting any younger. A full tournament schedule, a full practice schedule and the recovery that it would take to do that – I don’t have any desire to do that. But I can ramp up for a few events a year,” Woods said.