December 01, 2015

Tiger working on a return to TOUR

Contrary to reports, Tiger Woods has no plans to retire from professional golf. He confirmed that Tuesday at Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas, where he is hosting this week’s 18th Hero World Challenge.

“I’m hoping that I can get back out here and compete against these guys,” said Woods, who turns 40 later this month. “I really do miss it.”

Tiger hasn’t played since Aug. 23, when he tied for 10th at the Wyndham Championship. He was in hip pain most of the week, then underwent a second microdiscectomy in September to remove a disk fragment. Woods had a follow-up procedure in late October.

At the advice of his doctors, Tiger hasn’t done much except walk and won’t begin rehabilitation until they determine he is ready. There is no timetable for swinging a club.

“I’m just generally sore due to inactivity,” Woods said. “It’s a real test of my patience and my resolve. It’s been hard, no doubt about it. In order to get better, you have to do nothing.”

Tiger said his top priority is getting healthy enough to play soccer and scuba dive with his two children. 

“There’s nothing like being able to interact with my kids,” Woods said. “I hope I can do that soon.”

Tiger has kept himself occupied by keeping close tabs on his new restaurant, The Woods Jupiter, in Jupiter, Florida, which has received rave reviews. He has also improved his already proficient skills in video games and watched Stanford football games on television.

“Christian McCaffrey deserves to be in New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony,” he said, referring to the standout sophomore running back.

Many players, including pal Rory McIlroy, have publically expressed encouragement and appreciation through social media and look forward to seeing Tiger again on the PGA TOUR.

“Wishing my idol and friend a speedy recovery,” McIlroy said. “Golf without him doesn’t bear thinking about. Hope to see you back on the course soon.”

Woods has 79 career victories on the PGA TOUR, second only to Sam Snead’s 82. Tiger also owns 14 major titles, trailing only Jack Nicklaus’ 18. Tiger has been No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking a record 683 weeks and has the longest consecutive week streak of 281.

“I’ve had a pretty good career for my 20s and 30s,” Woods said.

Proceeds from the Hero World Challenge benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation. A five-time winner of the event, Tiger will host a pro-am dinner Wednesday night.