PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – Tiger Woods still doesn’t know when he can return to play on the PGA Tour.
“I wish I could tell you when I’m playing again. I want to know, but I don’t,” he said.
Woods is back in this ritzy suburb of Los Angeles this week as tournament host of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club. It was nearly a year ago, on Feb. 23, two days after the conclusion of the Genesis Invitational, that Woods was involved in a single-car crash, failing to negotiate a curve in the roadway just outside of Los Angeles.
Woods crashed his Genesis GV80 SUV courtesy car from the tournament into a tree and rolled over, trapping him in the vehicle. Woods has no recollection of the collision, but reiterated yet again that he was fortunate that he didn’t lose his leg.
“If there might be a person who’s immortal, I think it’s him,” said Genesis Invitational defending champion Max Homa, who received the tournament trophy from Woods two days before the accident. “He personifies hard work and kind of that never-give-up attitude. I think everybody out there is just happy he’s back to moving around and seems to be doing pretty well. If the golf thing happened, that would be cool, but I think he’s done enough for the game. If he doesn’t ever want to hit another golf shot, he’s done plenty for all of us.”
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“I think at this point we’re all just happy that he’s around and moving well, as you said, and he’s able to be a dad, just be this tournament’s host and sort of just do all that sort of stuff,” Rory McIlroy said. “To see a year later that he’s doing well and he’s moving around, it’s great to see.”
Woods exceeded expectations with his play at the PNC Championship, teaming with son Charlie Woods in the two-man team event to finish second.
“We had two of the greatest days ever, he and I,” Woods said.
It raised hopes that Woods’s return was ahead of schedule. But the 15-time major winner pointed out that he was able to use a cart in Orlando.
“I can walk on a treadmill all day, that’s easy. That’s just straight, there’s no bumps in the road. But walking on a golf course where there’s undulations, I have a long way to go,” he said.
His golf activity since December has been limited.
Tiger Woods takes questions during a news conference at Riviera Country Club, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
“I can chip and putt really well and hit short irons very well, but I haven’t done any long stuff seriously. I’m still working. Like at the PNC, I’m still working on the walking part. My foot was a little messed up there about a year ago, so the walking part is something that I’m still working on, working on strength and development in that,” Woods said. “It takes time. Did it give me hope? Yes, it did because I went through a very difficult year last year. It gave me hope to be able to play with my son again and to be able to have fun with him and have those moments we had from a year prior to that. We built on that time. What’s frustrating is it’s not at my timetable. I want to be at a certain place, but I’m not.”
Woods did acknowledge that he’s made some progress, but he said he still has a long way to go.
“I can play weekend warrior golf, that’s easy. But to be able to be out here and play, call it six rounds of golf, a practice round, pro-am, four competitive days, it’s the cumulative effect of all that. I’m not able to do that yet. I’m still working on getting to that point,” he said. “It’s been tough, but I’ve gotten here, I’ve gotten this far and I still have a long way to go. Each and every day’s a fight and I welcome that fight. Get up in the morning, let’s go a few more rounds.”