For the first time since the car crash in February, Tiger Woods spoke to the media.
Woods spoke in Albany, Bahamas, ahead of the World of Heroes Challenge, a benefit for the Tiger Woods Foundation. He discussed what he expects the rest of his golf days to be like, as well as what he needs to get to a point of recovery where he can walk again. No crutches or wheelchair required.
Here are some of the things Woods talked about:
– Woods has dealt with injuries and surgeries in the past, explaining that he has had 5 knee surgeries and 5 back surgeries. However, recovering from a car crash in February, he said, has been more difficult, at one point noting that the amputation of his right leg was “on the table”. Woods later explained that he feels “lucky to be alive, but still chi.” Even as he sat down to answer questions, Woods said he still felt pain in his back and legs.
Once the recovery process begins, Woods says that while it’s unlikely to be such a limitation, he understands the need to be patient from previous procedures he’s had and that while he needs it. push himself to improve, he shouldn’t go too far either. .
“When I blew up my ACL and broke my leg, it was ‘You’ve been off for nine months. “Wow, that’s silly. Nine months without going back to sports. Okay, then there’s back general surgery, knee operations and all the different timelines. You know, if you’re patient. you know, in those timelines, how much we can push and how much we can’t push. You have to push until it hurts, but you can’t exceed it. And that’s the part hard, but I’ve had a lot of experience with that so I knew, ‘Okay, we’ve gone a little too far, let’s pump the brakes. We’ll stop right here. didn’t push me enough, now is a good day. Keep going.”
– Woods says it’s hard to explain how challenging being immobilized for three months is, and says he aims to get back outside. He describes it as an important milestone as he is finally able to be brought outdoors for the first time in a wheelchair and feels the sun for the first time since the accident. Woods says he was in a wheelchair for two months before switching to crutches and says he has since stopped using hte crutches “probably a little earlier than they suggest.”
“Especially for someone who has spent his whole life outside, [getting outside] is a goal. And it finally got to that point when I switched from wheelchair to crutches to nothing. It has been a lot of hard work. I am very grateful to all the surgeons and especially the nurses, unsung heroes of all, who have been at my bedside and kept my spirits up, all my friends and family. . Had some tough times there. There were some really, really hard times and sometimes the pain was pretty big, but they got me through it and I’m on the better side of it, but I still have a long way to go. . “
– Woods recounts how he climbed back to the top of the golf world before, including his Master win in 2019. He talks about how after surgery he will slowly build up himself over time, performing better at events until he was able to compete in events like the British Open.
“I don’t see that trend going on with me. I won’t get a chance to work out, given the state of my legs and health. I won’t. It would have to be a different way of doing it. And it’s not. stars and I feel at peace with that. I’ve climbed enough times.”
– It may be a while until Woods returns to golf. He said he doesn’t know when he might reappear at PGA Tour level, saying there could be a “hit and giggle.”
Part of that stems from what Woods has seen since his return to swinging. He says his shots don’t come anywhere close to the distance they used to, and that he’ll more than likely play under the “Tee It Forward” initiative from the USGA and PGA Tour, where golfers place their tees at different distances. about driving distance.
“I don’t like the T in the back, so I like to play it forward. Come on, move it up. Move it up. To see some of my shots falling out of the sky is a lot shorter than that. with the former being a bit of an eye-opener, but at least I can do it again. It’s something that for a while there, it seemed like I wouldn’t be able to. I could be in the sport of golf. I don’t know at what level yet, and you know I’ll be watching you, all of you, closely as the progress continues.”
– Woods talks about his relationship with his kids and explains the importance of building strength to be able to do things again with them. He said for most of their lives they’ve seen him recover from back surgeries, and that he wants to be able to attend his daughter’s soccer games or his son’s tournaments. me.
He also said that he has discussed with his family what it means to return to play, if his legs cooperate, and that his family has supported him to return and compete if he does. can do it. therefore.
“Internally, I haven’t reached that point. I haven’t proven to myself that I can do it. Yes, I can show up here and I can host an event, I can. I can chip and putt, but OK, now we’re talking about going out there, playing against the best in the world on the hardest golf courses in the most difficult conditions I haven’t gotten there I have a long way to go I still haven’t decided if I want to get there I have to try to get there that decision can be made, and we’ll see what happens when I get to that point, but I have a long way to go with this.
– Woods said that this year, he will only host the World of Heroes Challenge, and he will not compete. He said he missed the game and that he looks forward to being back with other golfers.
“It’s going to be fun to watch the boys come in here and play, tee off and be out there. Because I’ve been away from this game, let’s say a whole year, I just missed the shot, the pitch and you know, ‘How’s everyone?’ I mean, there’s just so much you can do through text messages and phone calls.”