Sunday 25 September 2016

'I have to get healthy' - Tiger Woods gives no timetable on return from back surgery

Phil Casey

Published 02/03/2016 | 17:15

Former world number one Tiger Woods is out of the US Masters
Former world number one Tiger Woods is out of the US Masters

Tiger Woods has reiterated that there is no timetable for his return to competitive golf, despite giving a positive update about his recovery from back surgery.

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Woods, 40, posted a video of himself hitting a shot in an indoor simulator last week following suggestions he found it painful to sit down and was unable to move well.

Jack Nicklaus also said the former world number one was "feeling great" and looked "very healthy" while attending a dinner for potential Ryder Cup players during the Honda Classic.

Writing on his official website, Woods said: "As I announced last week, I am starting to feel a lot better. I have been chipping and putting at home, and recently started hitting 9 irons. That's been so nice. After all, Florida is the Sunshine State.

"My son Charlie and I compete in just about everything and have three-hole chipping contests. The loser has to do push-ups. My short game feels pretty sharp.

"The big thing right now is trying to get stronger and more flexible. Sitting out as long as I did, some weakening occurred, and I have a lot of work ahead of me.

"While there is no timetable on my return to competitive golf, I want to play this game at the highest level again. In order to do that, I have to get healthy.

"I've received many nice calls and texts from my fellow PGA Tour players and want to thank them for their support and encouragement. It's a fraternity out there, and we're all in this together."

In December, Woods - who won the last of his 79 PGA Tour titles in 2013 - also used his website to reflect on his struggles in 2015.

''It was a tough year physically and took a toll on my body," the 14-time major winner wrote. "'I had to battle through a swing pattern change and get that organised, because it was awful at the beginning of the year. I didn't play for the longest time because I was stuck.'

''The frustrating part was not being able to build on it throughout the year. To finally have it switch and turn in the last event I played at the Wyndham Championship, and then lo and behold, I can't physically do it any more.

''I've had two back surgeries since then, so it's been a roller-coaster ride the entire year, from being down to some pretty darn good highs.''

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