For many years, Tiger Woods answered questions about his health as if they were a state secret. When a JP McManus Pro-Am interviewer asked him how his body was, Woods smiled and said, “It’s still attached.”
Woods shook the rust off his game Shooting 2-over 74 at Adare Manor in Limerick, Ireland. It came a day after posting 5-over 77, which included one outstanding ball moment, a slide in for the Eagle at age 13.
Woods complained about jet lag but said he’s getting the right mix of rest and training ahead of the final major season. It was unimportant that he finished two rounds in 17 strokes more than winner Xander Schauffele. All that matters is that he hasn’t sustained another injury.
Above all, it was nice to see Woods swinging the batons again, even if prone to giggles and giggles as he used a golf cart to reduce wear on his back as he looked forward to the 150 British Open, which begins July 14 in St Andrews in Scotland. The last time Woods played, at the PGA Championship in May, he came home with a score of 79 in the third round and later that day Withdrew from the tournament. Woods skipped the US Open in June to give his body more time to heal.
“The plan was to play the US Open, but physically I wasn’t able to do that,” he said. “No way physically I could have done it. I had some physical issues with my legs and it could have put (the British Open) at risk. There is no reason to do that.”
He continued, “This is a beautiful historical tournament that we are going to play. I am fortunate enough to be a part of the previous champions who won there and I want to play there again. I don’t know when they will come back anytime while I am still able to play at a high level. And I want to be able to give it Once again at least at a high level.”
Woods was a two-time Old Course champion, having done so in 2000 and 2005. He maintained title-winning possession Clarett Goog for another year, winning the title in 2006 at Royal Liverpool.
Woods notes that his legs are stronger now than they were in the PGA.
“That’s for sure,” Woods said. “I’ve been able to put in more reps which is great. I still prefer to ride in a buggy. I only do it here because I don’t need to push it now. I have a long week ahead and all next week to do it. Save the legs. We can still train as hard as I can.” We do every day. But in terms of duration on my feet, let’s try to keep that to a minimum until we have to. And then when we have to, let’s go.”
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Woods doesn’t take any of that for granted – even having a chance to compete again is a miracle in itself – after facing the prospect of having his right leg amputated after one serious road accident of his in February 2021.
“It was worth it. It was tough. I had some really hard days and some days getting off the couch was a hell of a job, and that’s just the way it is,” Woods said of the effort to reform his body to play in the Masters and the PGA. And I tell you, I won’t take it for granted anymore, some people do. But people who have come close or lost a limb understand what I am saying, but you have hard days and also you have great days.”
Waiting for him on tee number 18, Woods explained the challenge he took to adjust his swing with the injuries he had.
“I was always shallow, and that for me is the way I always play,” he explained. “The problem now is with my body banging, I can’t keep my weight on my left side. I have to stay behind. I have to move here. This naturally puts me in low air, but I need to be in a spiky ball, and that makes up for me. So. , I’m able to do that. If you go to a hard ball and hit the same (the shot), the ball is here.”
Woods also confirmed that he will not be returning to the United States between going to Scotland to chase his 16th major and fourth title at the British Open. But he was close to the jacket as to where he would set his game in the lead-up to St Andrews.
“I won’t tell you,” he said, “because I don’t want everyone to come and watch us.”