RES­O­LUTE WOODS

Former World No 1 not giv­ing up af­ter surgery

New Straits Times - - Sport -

TIGER Woods may be in the midst of yet an­other lengthy re­cov­ery from his fourth back surgery but the former World No 1 said on Wed­nes­day he now felt bet­ter than he had in years and had no plans to re­tire from com­pet­i­tive golf.

The surgery Woods had in April has a typ­i­cal re­cov­ery time of six months and, while he still has very lim­ited mo­bil­ity, the 41-yearold Amer­i­can was firm in his re­solve that he will again com­pete with the world’s best golfers.

“I want to say un­equiv­o­cally, I want to play pro­fes­sional golf again,” Woods, com­ment­ing for the first time since his surgery, said on his web­site (tiger­woods.com).

“Presently, I’m not look­ing ahead. I can’t twist for an­other two and a half to three months. Right now, my sole fo­cus is re­hab and do­ing what the doc­tors tell me. I am con­cen­trat­ing on short­term goals.”

Woods, sec­ond on the all-time list with 14 ma­jor ti­tles, has played spar­ingly since re­turn­ing to golf in De­cem­ber af­ter a 16month lay­off fol­low­ing back surgery.

He missed the cut at the Farm­ers In­sur­ance Open in Jan­uary and with­drew from a Euro­pean Tour event in Dubai af­ter a firstround 77.

Woods only de­cided on surgery be­cause he could no longer live with the pain, adding that even ly­ing down hurt and that he tried ev­ery pos­si­ble non-sur­gi­cal route but noth­ing worked.

He said the fu­sion surgery pro­vided in­stant nerve re­lief.

“I haven’t felt this good in years,” said Woods, a 79-time win­ner on the PGA Tour.

“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 kids to and from school. All I can do is take it day-by-day. There’s no hurry.”

Woods also said he did every­thing he could to play in last month’s US Masters, where he has not com­peted since 2015, but that the pain was too great.

“The pain was post-im­pact when I swung the club. I fig­ured, ‘Can I han­dle it?’ This time the an­swer was, ‘Prob­a­bly not.’ That shows the ef­fect nerve pain can have,” said Woods, a four-time Masters cham­pion.

“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.” Reuters

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