TULSA, Okla. – Tiger Woods does not know if there is a limit to how much better his damaged right leg, ankle and foot can be one day, but he said Tuesday that he’s seen progress since the Masters and that he tried to increase his workload to get ready for the PGA Championship.
Woods, who made a surprising return last month at Augusta National, is playing his second tournament since the February 2021 car crash that left him hospitalized for weeks and unable to walk unaided for months.
Asked if there was a lull in training following the Masters, Woods quipped: “There was a huge lull. Monday, that was it. That was it, Monday.
“It was not fun,’’ he added. “Ice baths and just trying to get the swelling out of there.
“Then we got back at it, leg day on Tuesday, and we kept going from there. Said ‘let’s go.’ Figured the first mountain you climbed was Everest. That’s the steepest golf course you’re going to play (Augusta) and that was the first one you climbed, and climbed it. It’s going to get flatter and better.
“But still, I have tough days, and things aren’t going to be as easy as people might think. But I feel like I’m doing better. I’m having more days that are better, more positive. Able to practice a little bit longer. So I’m able to do activities and things that I was hoping to do, and I’m finally able to do them.’’
Woods made the cut and finished 47th at the Masters, his worst finish as a pro in the tournament he has won five times. His weekend scores of 78 were also his highest ever at Augusta National.
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But Woods considered his participation a success.
“It was hurting but I pushed through it,’’ he said. “It was more mind than body. I said, I’ve won with a broken leg before (two stress fractures in his left tibia during the 2008 U.S. Open). Keep on going out there, keep pushing. I know how to play the golf course. If I can just putt well, you never know. Unfortunately Saturday, I think I had like 15 three-putts.
“But it was one of those things, the thing that I was frustrated with is it deteriorated as the week went on. I got more and more tired and more fatigued. I didn’t have the endurance that I wanted. I shouldn’t expect it because I didn’t earn it. I didn’t go out there and I hadn’t done the work but we were able to put in a little bit more work and it’s going to get better as time goes on. As the months pass and it’s going to get better.’’
Woods, who won the 2007 PGA at Southern Hills for his 13th major title, arrived Sunday and played the front nine. He played the back nine Monday and just practiced Tuesday before speaking with the media.
He is scheduled to play the first two rounds with two-time PGA winner Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth – who would complete the career Grand Slam with a PGA victory. They tee off at 9:11 a.m. ET on Thursday.
“There’s going to be limitations,’’ he said. “There’s a lot of hardware in there and there’s going to be limitations to what I’m going to be able to do, but I’m going to get stronger. I don’t know how much that is or how much range of motion I’ll ever get back. But sure is a hell of a lot better than it was 12 months ago.’’
As for his ability to compete and contend, Woods did not shy away from the idea.
“I feel like I can, definitely,’’ he said. “I just have to go out there and do it. I have to do my work. Starts on Thursday and I’ll be ready.’’
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