NASSAU, Bahamas – Tiger Woods declined to discuss the road accident he suffered last February that left him seriously injured in his leg, and he remained vague on his athletic future – except to say that he does not know if he will be able to play at the same level as before.
“I can show up here and I can host this tournament, I can play par-3s, I can hit a few shots, I can do approach shots and putts,” he listed. Tuesday. But here we are talking about facing the best players in the world, on the most difficult courses, in the worst possible playing conditions.
“I am very far from being able to do that” “he added.
Woods spoke to the media for the first time since his Feb. 26 crash on a coastal road in suburban Los Angeles. Police have previously said he was driving at least 135 km / h when he crossed the center line and did a series of rolls in his SUV to the bottom of a hill.
He said his friends had arranged for him not to be exposed to reports about him, and added that he refused to watch TV except for sporting events.
“I didn’t want to go through this. I wasn’t ready to go through this, he said. I was in a lot of pain at the time, and whether I was taking medication or not, I was in a lot of pain … I was not ready to go through this. I was not ready. “
Asked about the thread of events, Woods was quick to say, “All the answers were offered during the investigation, so you can get them all by reading the report.” We called him back asking if he had any memories of the accident, and he said, “I don’t know, no. I was very lucky. “
He also said he was very lucky to still be alive and still have his right leg, and to be able to make it to the media center at Albany Golf Club without a limp.
Woods is hosting the World Hero Challenge, an unofficial event he has been hosting for 20 years that will bring together 20 golfers starting Thursday.
Woods has previously said he will no longer play a full season on the PGA Tour, but may still choose to participate in some events. He added that the Masters Tournament, which he won in 2019 after undergoing lower back surgery, was still too far away for him to consider participating.
“I don’t think my leg will come back as before, and so will my back, and you have to remember that the dial is spinning,” said Woods, who will be 46 on December 30.
“I have recovered a lot of surgeries already, have overcome many periods of inactivity, and have won, or come close to doing so, before. I know the recipe, he mentioned. I just need to get to a point where I feel comfortable enough to start doing it again. “
He said he spent three months totally immobilized – a hospital bed was improvised at his home in Florida – before having to move on crutches, and finally without any help. Two weeks ago, he posted a video showing him performing a swing with a wedge.
Several then believed that he was approaching a return to competition. On Tuesday, the American made sure that it was understood that this was not possible for the moment. And he still doesn’t know if he’s ready to go through the fitness process again in order to face the best golfers on the planet.
“I still have a long way to go before I reach this point,” he said. I still haven’t decided whether or not I’m ready to reach this point. I have to make sure my leg reaches that point first before I think about making a decision, and then we’ll see what happens. “
So can he still win?
“I have to be good enough to do this, okay?” So I have to prove to myself that I’m good enough, ”he explained.
In the meantime, the ‘Masters’ is four months away, and listening to Woods talk about the long haul ahead, he seems unlikely to be part of it – except, perhaps, at the traditional Champions Supper. Woods recalled that all of his goals are currently short term.
“This year, I would love to be able to put it behind me,” he concluded.