Tiger Woods Comments on Recovery from Injury, Equipment and More
Tiger Woods will return to competitive golf for the first time since August 2015 on Thursday at Click Here the Hero World Challenge, and he declared himself, “ready to go,” Sunday, per Bob Harig of ESPN.com.
Harig noted Woods arrived in the Bahamas for the tournament on Saturday and played nine holes before spending more than two hours on the driving range on Sunday. The 40-year-old golfer said, “I’m not dead,” but did acknowledge “I have to get my walking legs” after so much time off.
Woods also has to worry about what equipment he will use since his sponsor, Nike, no longer makes golf clubs.
According to Harig, the 14-time major winner was testing different options but elected to stick with his Nike irons. He also experimented with a number of woods (they were TaylorMade on Sunday) and decided to use a Bridgestone ball.
“The most important thing is the ball,” he said, per Harig. “Once you find a ball, then you can work around everything else. The ball is No. 1. The most important club in the bag is the ball.”
The ball is one thing that will be unfamiliar for Woods on Thursday. So will his 879th ranking in the world considering he is inarguably one of the greatest golfers in the history of the sport. He said he was nervous but called that a good thing because “if I wasn’t nervous, that would mean I didn’t care,” per Harig.
It is easy to remember the prime version of Woods who had golf fans and commentators legitimately wondering whether they should predict the field or him every week. He won 14 majors and was an unstoppable force nearly every time he took the golf course.
He is now 40 years old and playing for the first time since the 2015 Wyndham Championship. He also underwent two back procedures since then and is certainly on the wrong side of his golf prime.
Woods will return to the sport in what Harig called a “low-key” tournament that includes only 18 players and benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation.
It is unrealistic to expect Woods to quickly return to his major-winning form after so much time off, especially at his age, but he has the opportunity to make significant strides in his first competitive action as he looks to eventually return to the sport’s upper echelon.