Tiger Woods hopes to play on the PGA Tour again, though never as a full-time player, something he called “an unfortunate reality” that he has accepted, according to a 30-minute video interview with Golf Digest posted online Monday.
“I think something that is realistic is playing the Tour one day — never full time, ever again — but pick and choose, just like Mr. Hogan did and you play around that,” Woods, 45, said, referring to the nine-time major champion Ben Hogan, who played sporadically, if effectively, after breaking multiple bones in a devastating 1949 car crash. “You practice around that, and you gear yourself up for that. I think that’s how I’m going to have to play it from now on. It’s an unfortunate reality, but it’s my reality. And I understand it, and I accept it.”
On Feb. 23, Woods sustained comminuted open fractures of both the tibia and the fibula in his right leg in a single vehicle crash outside Los Angeles. After undergoing emergency surgery, he was hospitalized for three weeks. In that time, Woods said, he faced the possibility of having his right leg amputated.
“There was a point in time when — I wouldn’t say it was 50-50 — but it was damn near there if I was going to walk out of that hospital with one leg,” Woods said in the video of a Zoom interview, which began with the smiling golfer striding toward the camera without a noticeable limp, inside his South Florida home.
Woods, who has had several back operations, including a fusion in 2017, returned to professional golf and won the 2019 Masters, his 15th major championship, a comeback Woods referenced on Monday.
“After my back fusion, I had to climb Mt. Everest one more time,” he said. “I had to do it, and I did. This time around, I don’t think I’ll have the body to climb Mt. Everest, and that’s OK I can still participate in the game of golf. I can still, if my leg gets OK, I can still click off a tournament here or there. But as far as climbing the mountain again and getting all the way to the top, I don’t think that’s a realistic expectation of me.”
He added: “I don’t have to compete and play against the best players in the world to have a great life.”