Tiger Woods revealed in an interview published on Monday that he will not return to being a full-time professional golfer on the PGA Tour and will instead selectively pick which tournaments that he wants to compete in.
“I think something that is realistic is playing the tour one day—never full time, ever again—but pick and choose, just like Mr. [Ben] Hogan did. Pick and choose a few events a year and you play around that,” Woods told Golf Digest. “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.”
The interview is the first extensive sitdown Woods has done since he was seriously injured in a car accident back in February and nearly had his right leg amputated.
The New York Times reported:
… Woods sustained open fractures of both the tibia and the fibula in his right leg in a single-vehicle crash outside Los Angeles. The fractures were described as comminuted, which meant the bones were broken in several places. 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.
The police determined that Woods was driving about 85 m.p.h. in a 45 m.p.h. zone on a winding road when he lost control of his sport-utility vehicle. He was not charged with any legal violation.
Woods said in the interview with Golf Digest that he no longer needs to compete and play against the best players in the world in order to have a fulfilling life.
“After my back fusion, I had to climb Mt. Everest one more time. 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,” he said. “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.”
“I have so far to go … I’m not even at the halfway point,” he added. “I have so much more muscle development and nerve development that I have to do in my leg. At the same time, as you know, I’ve had five back operations. So I’m having to deal with that. So as the leg gets stronger, sometimes the back may act up. … It’s a tough road. But I’m just happy to be able to go out there and watch Charlie play, or go in the backyard and have an hour or two by myself with no one talking, no music, no nothing. I just hear the birds chirping. That part I’ve sorely missed.”