Although Tiger Woods is “just” an assistant captain at this week’s Presidents Cup, he still, as was evident at Wednesday’s press conference, the subject of a lot the golf world’s interest.
Woods hasn’t played in an event since last winter because of back issues and is just now starting to move past being to “hit 60-yard shots.” The biggest news story involving Woods in the past year has been a detailed bout with prescription drugs this spring. However, reporters in the press room couldn’t help but ask for updates on Tiger’s progress. Overall, Tiger seemed optimistic, but marked each comment with some bit of caution. Here’s a bit of what he had to say, quotes courtesy of Kyle Porter over at CBS.
“There were times when, as you all know, what [U.S. captain Steve Stricker] said before, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to be here because I couldn’t ride in a cart. The bouncing just hurt too much. Driving a car still hurt. So that’s all gone now, which is fantastic, and yeah, there were some intrepid times; not just for this golf tournament, but for life going forward.”
” … Overall I’m very optimistic how I’m progressing,” Woods said. “Like I said, the pain’s gone, but I don’t know what my golfing body is going to be like, because I haven’t hit a golf shot yet. So that’s going to take time to figure that out and figure out what my capabilities are going forward, and there’s no rush.”
We’ve heard these type of measured responses from Tiger in the past, so there wasn’t too much shocking on that front. However, towards the end of the press conference, Tiger was asked point blank if he could see a scenario in which he would not return to competitive golf. Tiger, who earlier said that he was motivated to come back to the sport because he enjoyed playing the game, replied honestly.
“Yeah, definitely,” said Woods. “I don’t know what my future holds for me. As I’ve told you guys, I’m hitting 60-yard shots.”
It’s not an unexpected response given Woods’ battles with his body over the last few years, but each time Tiger makes concessions like this, it’s a little bit staggering. Injuries are part of the game and they don’t discriminate, but it’s still hard to grasp that one of, if not the best to ever play the game would be up against these type of circumstances. I think anyone who follows the game of golf passionately or or casually would want to see Tiger make a return back from all of this, but at this point, it’s fair to question what that would amount to. Maybe we’ve seen the last of Tiger Woods on the tour, and maybe he’ll fight back and give us one more thrill ride. Either way, I don’t think we were expecting the final chapters to be written like this. Here’s to hoping for the best, though.