‘It’s like riding a bike, but it’s a new bike’ – Tiger Woods talks about a new lease of life for his game
After consecutive top-five finishes, there’s unexpected optimism the four-time Masters champion could make a run at his fifth green jacket in two weeks
Tiger Woods is no longer the most dominant golfer in the world, but after enduring four years of painful back and nerve problems, he seems to have resumed his place among the elite.
After consecutive top-five finishes in his last two PGA Tour events, there’s unexpected optimism the four-time Masters champion could make a run at his fifth green jacket in two weeks – something that might have seemed unthinkable just a few months ago.
In an interview with ESPN, Woods says he’s had to change his game considerably, but back surgery has finally enabled him to play pain-free.
“I am pretty close to putting it together,” he says. “It’s like riding a bike. But it’s a new bike.”
Woods said he’s still figuring out his body’s limitations, but once he does, that’s when he’ll start winning tournaments again.
The recovery is a huge step forward from the low periods he had because of constant back pain.
“For the better part of 4-6 months, I had to be helped out of bed every day,” he says. “There were some days where I just, even if you helped me, I couldn’t stand up. I’d fall to the floor or just stay in bed.”
With his revamped swing, Woods finished tied for fifth last week at Bay Hill and tied for second at Innisbrook the week before.
“I am just solid as a rock back there,” Woods says. “The difference is I don’t have the same range of motion. I’m stiffer there. It takes me a little longer to warm up.
“The angles I used to create with my body, I can’t do that anymore.”
Another improvement in Woods’ quality of life is he can now enjoy being a better father to his two children. He says golf has now “taken a back seat” to that.
“My health has been the number one thing that’s guided me toward where I’m at because I want to be healthy for my kids.”
For fans looking forward to seeing Woods compete on golf’s grandest stage at the Masters, the timing couldn’t be any better.