The Economic Times - - Sports: The Great Games -

Tiger Woods has ad­mit­ted the com­bined toll of mul­ti­ple op­er­a­tions on his bat­tered body means he doesn’t think he “will ever feel great” again.

But the for­mer world num­ber one said he hoped to be able to com­pete for ti­tles and ma­jors in the fu­ture, in an in­ter­view for Dubai mag­a­zine Vi­sion. “I feel good, but not great,” said Woods, 41. “Granted, I don’t think I’ll ever feel great be­cause it’s three back surg­eries, four knee op­er­a­tions.”

The 14-time ma­jorwi n ne r r e t u r ne d f r o m a 16 - mont h i nj u r y l ay- o f f in De­cem­ber and has slumped to 674 in the world rank­ings. “I am al­ways go­ing to be a lit­tle bit sore, it’s just the way it is. But as long as I can func­tion and func­tion at a good enough level then I’m fine with that,” he said.

Woods made an ill-fated at­tempt to play in the Euro­pean Tour’s Dubai Desert Clas­sic last week, pulling out with back spasms af­ter a birdie-free first-round 77 left him 13 shots off the lead.Wood­shad missed the cut a week ear­lier at his first US PGA tour event of the year at Tor­rey Pines.

He is en­tered for next week’s tour­na­ment at Riv­iera as he tries to re­cover form and fit­ness be­fore a tilt at the sea­son’s first ma­jor, the Masters in Au­gusta in early April. “The whole plan was to get my body, mind and spirit ready for that first full week in April,” said the 14-time ma­jor win­ner. “You know, I’ve done it (won at Au­gusta) four times and I’d love to do it a fifth.”

Woods said he would carry on as long as he felt ca­pa­ble of win­ning, af­ter a painful re­habi l it at ion. “T her e were a lot of times I didn’t think I was go­ing to make it back. It was tough, it was more than bru­tal,” he said. Woods, who has not won since 2013 and whose last ma­jor vic­tor y came i n 2 0 0 8, said golf was be­com­ing a dif­fer­ent game with the power of the “kids” dom­i­nat­ing the world rank­ings, such as Ja­son Day, Jor­dan Spi­eth and Rory McIl­roy. “This is the chang­ing of the guard. All these guys can move it,” he said. “It wasn’t im­por­tant to hit the ball hard, it was more im­por­tant to hit the ball flush, but now these kids tee it up and just go af­ter it.”

But he still be­lieves he can win again. “My gen­er­a­tion is get­ting older, but if I’m tee­ing up the goal’s to win it,” said Woods.


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