There’s no doubt in Tiger Woods’ mind that he wants to play professional golf again. The timeline for his return, however, is not so certain.
In a blog post published Wednesday on TigerWoods.com, the former world No. 1 spoke about his withdrawal from the Masters, subsequent back surgery and his plans to return to competition.
“I could no longer live with the pain I had,” Woods said about his decision to undergo fusion surgery on his back — his fourth back procedure since April 2014. “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.”
Ultimately, the pain was so great that it forced Woods to withdraw from April’s Masters tournament.
“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,” Woods continued. “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.”
The four-time Masters winner went on to say his surgery was a success.
“It was instant nerve relief. I haven’t felt this good in years … I want to say unequivocally, I want to play professional golf again,” he said.
Though the timeline for his return is still pending.
“As for returning to competitive golf, the long-term prognosis is positive,” Woods wrote. “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 o 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. …
“There’s a long way to go, but as I said, words cannot convey how good it feels to be pain-free.”