Woods returns to PGA Tour but without his clubs

Pulheim, Germany: Tiger Woods has returned to a PGA Tour event for the first time in 10 months but without his golf clubs, and certainly not ready to tee-up in this week’s Quicken Loans Championship in Bethesda, Maryland.

No, Woods is hosting the event and while he’s not been seen at a PGA Tour event since finishing 10th in last August’s Wyndham Championship he remains confident of soon returning to the competition fairways.

Tiger Woods Tiger Woods (Credit: Anthony Powter)

“I’m excited about what’s transpired so far,” Woods said.

“It’s about trying to recover for the next day. I guess I still need to get in golf shape. I’m playing it week to week.”

“I keep getting physically better. I hope everything clicks in and I can do it sooner rather than later.”

“I’ve gotten better. I’ve been able to hit shots. I have good distance off the tee and that’s a positive. I have enough speed now. More speed is what I need.

I’m sore and it’s about trying to recover for the next day. I just need to still get in more golf shape, try to hit more golf balls, things of that nature.”

Woods also knows too well from past years when he has come back too early from surgery that he’s not about to repeat the same again, so it’s taking extra time to make certain he is fit, not willing to venture a guess as to what percentage of his recovery he has completed.

“I”m driving myself in my training,” he said. “I need to pretty much do anything off the golf course and then do anything I would do on the golf course.”

But Woods did mention his health is improved, a sentiment that’s paying dividends in his game.

“My numbers are good off the tee, the was one of the things I was worried about, losing distance, and I haven’t done that, I’ve actually gained a bit, which is positive,” Woods said.

And after his remarks on Twitter last Sunday over the fiasco unfolding at Oakmont, Woods was asked his thoughts on the controversy and how it was so badly handled by the USGA.

“I watched. It was awful,” said Woods. “No one knew what was going on. No one had a clue. Was frustrating to watch … It became such an unnerving situation it wasn’t fair to anybody,” he said.

“It wasn’t a matter of integrity. It was a matter of getting the ruling right. If you have a rules official there, I thought it was binding, his decision.”

“Whatever he decides, he decides. I didn’t understand how they could say, ‘We’re going to take you in, we may or may not assess you a penalty.’”

“You still have six holes to go, but who knows who’s leading the U.S. Open. I didn’t see how that was appropriate.”