Tiger Woods was optimistic about playing some limited professional golf in the future while also being realistic about the struggles ahead, given the perspective he gleaned from the serious auto accident he endured in February.
The 45-year-old made the announcement when speaking to Golf Digest. “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,” he told interviewer Henni Koyack.
“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,” the athlete went on explaining. “It’s an unfortunate reality, but it’s my reality. And I understand it, and I accept it.”
“I don’t have to compete and play against the best players in the world to have a great life. After my back fusion, I had to climb Mt. Everest one more time,” he added. “I had to do it, and I did. This time around, I don’t think I’ll have the body to climb Mt. Everest, and that’s OK.”
However, Tiger noted that didn’t stop playing golf completely. “I can still participate in the game of golf. I can still, if my leg gets OK, I can still click off a tournament here or there. But as far as climbing the mountain again and getting all the way to the top, I don’t think that’s a realistic expectation of me,” he pointed out.
When it came to his recovery, Tiger shared, “I have so far to go… I’m not even at the halfway point.” He continued, “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 [my son] Charlie play, or go in the backyard and have an hour or two by myself with no one talking, no music, no nothing,” he stated. “I just hear the birds chirping. That part I’ve sorely missed.”
Tiger was involved in the single-car accident on February 23, just one day after he filmed a premiere episode of “A Round with Tiger: Celebrity Lessons” along with Jada Pinkett Smith. The accident left him with significant orthopedic injuries to his right lower extremity. He has since undergone several surgeries on his legs and ankles.