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Tiger Woods

‘I may never return to competitive golf’: is Tiger Woods on the verge of ending his incredible career?

American admits publicly for the first time that he may be forced to consider retirement

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 September, 2017, 10:49am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 September, 2017, 10:43pm

Tiger Woods can drive a car, he can drive a golf cart, but he still cannot drive a golf ball.

“I’m hitting 60-yard shots,” Woods said more than once during a press conference Wednesday for the Presidents Cup, which opens on Thursday at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J.

Woods answered a wide range of questions from his health, to the firestorm surrounding the national anthem, to the earthquake in Mexico, during an afternoon gathering of assistants from the United States and International teams.

Most of those inquiries centred on Woods’ health and if there is a timetable for his return. He acknowledged he has had “eight surgeries,” most notably on his back, and the 41-year-old hasn’t played a PGA Tour event since missing the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open in January.

“My timetable is based on what my surgeon said. As I alluded to last week, I’m hitting 60-yard shots,” said Woods, then he smiled and said, “I’m hitting it really straight ... It’s a joke, smile, OK.”

“I’m still training. I’m getting stronger,” Woods said a few minutes later. “But I certainly don’t have my golf muscles trained because obviously I’m not doing anything golf-related.”

Woods said he is enjoying serving as an assistant for the United States, along with Jim Furyk, Davis Love III and Fred Couples, and under captain Steve Stricker.

“Well, I think it’s the pure enjoyment about, one, the competition, but also being with the guys that’s a different role, not a player,” said Woods, who has previously served as an assistant for a United States team. “I’m trying to help the other assistants, the other players, and obviously our captain. And it’s been a lot of fun.”

Stricker said Tuesday that the 12-man US Team will stand for the national anthem – “We’ve had that discussion already,” – and Woods’ offered a diplomatic response on Wednesday to a question about football players declining to stand for the anthem.

Dozens of NFL players kneel for US anthem, refusing to bow to pressure from Trump

“Obviously there’s a lot of unrest right now, whether it’s political or racial, in this country right now,” he said. “And that’s something that obviously has happened in the past, and it’s happening right now in America right now. So hopefully things can be healed. We can progress as a nation and come together, not just only the near future, but for perpetuity.”

Asked for his thoughts on last week’s earthquake in Mexico, Woods said: “Yeah, unfortunately, devastations like that do happen. We try and help as best we possibly can, either through financial donations or other types of support, whatever the vehicles may be.

“It’s been tough and we’ve had a lot of, unfortunately, big national disasters, and not just in our country, but in other countries, as well. And it’s time that, you know, we would help each other. We try and help each other as much as we possibly can.”

Woods starts the long road to recovery with tweeted video as he is cleared to start short-game practice

Still, the focus was on Woods the golfer. He was asked if he could see a scenario where he could not return to competitive golf.

“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “I don’t know what my future holds for me. As I’ve told you guys, I’m hitting 60-yard shots.”