After two back surgeries last fall, Tiger Woods can now do much of what he wants to do off the course, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to play competitive golf.
Woods, 40, will be on the sideline for the Quicken Loans National at Congressional starting Thursday, not playing in the tournament that benefits his Tiger Woods Foundation.
“I wish I could be here to play, to get out here, get it going again,” Woods said at a Wednesday news conference. “I just miss playing.
“It’s not fun. It’s tough. This tournament is near and dear to my heart.”
Woods said he can now play with his kids, ride bikes, do many of the things that create a solid quality of life off the course. He said he is playing regularly and feels leaner. He said the pain is going down, but that he’s still sore.
“It’s about trying to recover for the next day,” he said. “I guess I still need to get in golf shape.”
Woods said he has played 18 holes on consecutive days, but he wants to be able to play 18 holes and still spend hours on the range, playing 36 holes four or five days in a row. Then he’d still have to take it up a notch to compete.
“I know we’re playing for a little bit of cash at home, but it’s not the same as being out here playing with these guys,” Woods said.
Woods did not rule out playing in any upcoming tournaments, including The Open at Royal Troon in three weeks, but he didn’t commit to any either.
Woods weighed in on a couple of other topics Wednesday.
On the U.S. Open penalty controversy regarding Dustin Johnson, Woods said: “It was awful because nobody knew what was going on. DJ didn’t know where he stood. … That determines what you’re going to do. … It was frustrating to watch how it was handled. … I’m little feistier than Dustin, so I might have said a few more things during the round.”
On the Rio Olympics, he said: “It will be a spectacular event, just because it’s the Olympics. It would be better if we had a more top-heavy field. … I wish they would have had a more quality field. … The Olympics deserve that.”
On world No. 1 Jason Day seeking his advice, Woods said: “I’ve had guys text me and ask questions. … Jason has probably texted the most, spent some time at my house. I always tell him I’m not going to tell you what to do, I’ll tell you what I did. … You’re going to have to figure out what’s best for you.”