Tiger Woods took part in a strange news conference at Aronimink Golf Club, Pennsylvania on Tuesday morning.
Strange because an event designed to promote the AT&T National, being held at the club shortly, turned into a Q&A session about Woods’ health and his chances in competing in next month’s U.S. Open.
Every question bar two was about Woods’ state of mind, and his ability to potentially play golf again.
“It is kind of about golf,” Woods said of the interrogation about his injured left leg. “When can I get back in there and play again?”
Woods has been wearing a special boot to ease pressure on his left Achilles tendon, walking on crutches to take weight off his balky left knee. Combined, the measures lessen the pain in his back.
“You play through these things,” Woods said. “There’s a difference between being in pain and being injured. Those are two totally different things. You can handle pain, but being injured is a totally different deal.”
“As you get older, you have to do things differently,” Woods said. “Your body doesn’t allow you to do these things. You have to be smart. . . . I used to run four to six miles before I played. I don’t do that anymore.”
“I can’t hit the ball, in relative terms, as far as I used to compared to other Tour players,” Woods said. “There are guys who hit it much further than I do. It’s a different ball game. Some guys hit wedges from 150 in. When I came on the Tour, everyone used an 8-iron from 150 in. But you still have to be able to score.”
Woods said pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’ record 18 major championships remains “one of the things that drives me in this game.” When Woods won the 2008 U.S. Open, his 14th major, at age 32, it seemed inevitable he would eclipse Nicklaus. Indeed, Nicklaus won his 14th in 1975, when he was the same age Woods is now. It took him 11 years to win those final four, culminating in the 1986 Masters, at age 46.
“I still have plenty of time,” Woods said.
Can Woods’ leg stay strong long enough for him to get his game sharp enough to win again? Will he return to consistency or show mere flashes of his former game?
Let me know your thoughts!