Tiger Woods is adamant about playing tour golf again on the back of his fourth surgery since 2014.
The former-world-number-one had fusion surgery on his back last month and believes he is on course for a competitive return providing he doesn’t ‘screw up’.
“It’s been just over a month since I underwent fusion surgery on my back, and it is hard to express how much better I feel,” Woods said in a blog post on tigerwoods.com.
“As for returning to competitive golf, the long-term prognosis is positive. My surgeon and physiotherapist say the operation was successful.
“It’s just a matter of not screwing up and letting it fuse. I’m walking and doing my exercises, and taking my kids to and from school. All I can do is take it day by day. There’s no hurry,” he added.
“But, I want to say unequivocally, I want to play professional golf again.”
After only three starts in the past 21 months, the 41-year-old was due to play at the Masters in early April before a withdrawal six days before the opening round; it was a decision Woods did not take lightly.
“I could no longer live with the pain I had. We tried every possible non-surgical route and nothing worked. I had good days and bad days, but the pain was usually there, and I couldn’t do much. Even lying down hurt. I had nerve pain with anything I did and was at the end of my rope,” he confessed.
“I did everything I could to play at Augusta and was ready to go. Unfortunately, it was kind of like the 2008 U.S. Open. The pain was post-impact when I swung the club. I figured, ‘Can I handle it?’ This time the answer was, ‘probably not.’ That shows the effect nerve pain can have.
“Obviously, it was a huge disappointment not to play. I hate to miss any major, especially the Masters, but the reality is I just couldn’t play.”
Woods knows, though, that the rehabilitation period from such intensive surgery is a long and slow process and is accepting of the fact that he must be patient if he is to tee off at a competitive event again.
“Presently, I’m not looking ahead. I can’t twist for another two and a half to three months. Right now, my sole focus is rehab and doing what the doctors tell me. I am concentrating on short-term goals.”