Just like that Tiger Woods says he’s back.
Announcing on his Facebook page Friday that it was time to get back to playing competitive golf, Woods will make his return in next week’s Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. The tournament benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation, and Quicken Loans is in its first year of sponsorship.
Is that an indication Woods is rushing his return?
Just a month ago at the annual media day for the tournament at Congressional, Woods, 38, spoke of how much he missed being around the golf course, how much he missed hitting golf balls, how much he missed playing since undergoing microdiscectomy surgery March 31 to alleviate pain caused by a pinched nerve in his back.
But he also spoke of his intent to take his rehab slowly, indicating that he had serious doubts about his physical future before the surgery. He said all those doubts were alleviated once the surgery was performed.
But Woods has a history of injuries, including four surgeries to his left knee, and Achilles, elbow and neck problems. Rushing a return from back surgery, he said, is an entirely different animal than if he were coming back from the reconstructive knee surgery he had in 2008. And by the sounds of things – and the seriousness Woods projected – he wasn’t returning any time soon.
“Well, the thing is I’ve been here before. I’ve been in this position where I’ve come out of a surgery and because of my experiences in the past, I’ve been able to focus on just rehabbing and focus on the little things like that,” said Woods, who was No. 1 in the world in March and has fallen to No. 4.
“I know that once I get to a point where I can start playing and start ramping things up is generally when I start getting antsy about getting out here and competing. … Once I start ramping it up and just getting out there, where I can start playing holes and start playing 36 holes a day, those type of things is when I get very antsy and want to get out there and compete.”
Woods, who hasn’t competed since March 19 when he shot a final-round 78 to finish in a tie for 25th in the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, started chipping and putting on April 20. Last week, he began hitting full shots, including his driver. There have been no reports, however, if he’s “ramped” it up to playing 36 a day.
“After a lot of therapy I have recovered well and will be supporting my foundation next week,” Woods said Friday on Facebook. “I’ve just started to hit full shots but it’s time to take the next step. I will be a bit rusty but I want to play myself back into competitive shape. Excited for the challenge ahead.”
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