Tiger Woods is ready to be back on a golf course. Unfortunately, Tiger Woods just isn’t quite ready to be back on a golf course.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday ahead of the Quicken Loans National at Congressional, the tournament that Tiger himself hosts to benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation, Woods openly discussed a number of topics, including his desire to get back to playing competitive golf.
“I wish I could be here to play, to get out here, get it going again. I just miss playing.
“It’s not fun. It’s tough. This tournament is near and dear to my heart.”
Tiger hasn’t played a round on the PGA Tour in ten months. His last appearance came at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro last August, finishing in a tie for 10th, four strokes behind winner and Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III. Woods has since undergone two back surgeries, the last of which came in October, and has been rehabbing diligently in an effort to get back. Woods’ health has improved, as he’s able to do more and more things off the course such as ride bikes and spend more time playing with his children, Tiger claims that his body just isn’t quite ready to compete with the best players in the world. However, the 14-time major champion says that things are progressing nicely.
Tiger says that he’s been playing more and more golf each and every week, including a big step to where he can play 18 holes on consecutive days. But someone as competitive as Woods knows that’s not enough. Tiger’s goal is to be able to play 18 holes and still spend some time working out on the practice range. Woods says that the bigger goal is to be able to play 36 holes four or five days in a row, and while he’s enjoying some friendly matches, he’s itching to get back out there with the boys.
“I know we’re playing for a little bit of cash at home, but it’s not the same as being out here playing with these guys.”
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Tiger also spoke on a number of other happenings in the world of golf, including the debacle on Sunday at the U.S. Open in which eventual winner Dustin Johnson was told that he may or may not be penalized a stroke following his final round due to his golf ball moving on the fifth hole as he stood over his six-foot par putt. Johnson was eventually penalized the stroke, but had a big enough advantage at the end where it wasn’t a factor. Woods says that he might have handled things a bit differently.
“It was awful because nobody knew what was going on. DJ didn’t know where he stood… That determines what you’re going to do… It was frustrating to watch how it was handled… I’m little feistier than Dustin, so I might have said a few more things during the round.”
Woods also addressed the return of golf to the Olympics following a 112-year absence. Many of the world’s top players, including Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott, have withdrawn from the event due to concerns over the Zika virus, something that Woods wishes was not an issue.
“It will be a spectacular event, just because it’s the Olympics. It would be better if we had a more top-heavy field… I wish they would have had a more quality field… The Olympics deserve that.”
Woods was also asked about his relationship with current world number one Jason Day, who’s credited Tiger on multiple occasions for taking him under his wing and teaching him how to win on the PGA Tour.
“I’ve had guys text me and ask questions… Jason has probably texted the most, spent some time at my house. I always tell him I’m not going to tell you what to do, I’ll tell you what I did… You’re going to have to figure out what’s best for you.”
The golf world still doesn’t have an answer to when Tiger Woods will return, but at no point during the press conference did he rule out playing at The Open Championship at Royal Troon in three weeks or the PGA Championship at Baltusrol at the end of July. Once again, we wait.
[Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images]