Woods will play again but rules out full-time schedule

Tiger Woods lit up social media a week ago with a 3-second clip of him swinging a golf club for the first time publicly since his near-death car accident in February.

Now Woods has doubled down on the publicity trail ahead of his annual Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas beginning this Thursday.

Henrik Stenson with host Tiger Woods Henrik Stenson won the Hero World Challenge when it was last staged in 2019 (Credit: PGA Tour)

The 15-time major champion appearing in a 30-minute long video interview with Henni Koyack for Golf Digest a day before Woods is officially scheduled to speak to the media at the Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas.

In what seemed like a deliberate show of strength, he walked unaided but somewhat gingerly, into the interview, which took place in the practice room of his Florida home.

So what’s the TLDR? Woods, who turns 46 on December 31st, believes he will be able to play limited tournaments on the PGA Tour but says he’s very unlikely to play a full schedule again.

“I think something that is realistic is playing the tour one day—never full time, ever again—but pick and choose, just like Mr. [Ben] Hogan did. Pick and choose a few events a year and you play around that,” said Woods, perhaps not realising what a monumentous statement that was to his legion of adoring fans.

“I think that’s how I’m going to have to play it from now on. It’s an unfortunate reality, but it’s my reality. And I understand it, and I accept it.”

While Woods is eager to get back to tournament golf, his time in recuperation has seen a readjustment of priorities.

“I’m just happy to be able to go out there and watch Charlie play, or go in the backyard and have an hour or two by myself with no one talking, no music, no nothing. I just hear the birds chirping. That part I’ve sorely missed.”

“I have so far to go, I’m not even at the halfway point. I have so much more muscle development and nerve development that I have to do in my leg.”

Woods now seems very likely to appear in person at his own tournament but as for playing any golf? That seems unlikely despite the encouraging signs in last week’s swing video.

“There’s a lot to look forward to, a lot of hard work to be done—being patient and progressing at a pace that is aggressive but not over the top.”

“I am able to chip and putt and do other things, swing clubs, but there’s no endurance. Because I haven’t built it up yet especially golf endurance.”

The $3.5 million Hero World Challenge tees off this Thursday at the Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas for the first time since Henrik Stenson won in 2019.