Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods Says a Return to the Top Not a ‘Realistic Expectation'

Woods spoke for the first time since suffering severe leg injuries in a February car accident

FILE - Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the fourth hole during the final round of the PNC Championship golf tournament in Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 20, 2020.
Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP (File)

Tiger Woods plans to one day return to the PGA Tour, but only on a part-time basis.

“I think something that is realistic is playing the tour one day -- never full time, ever again -- but pick and choose, just like Mr. [Ben] Hogan did," Woods told Golf Digest in an exclusive interview. "Pick and choose a few events a year and you play around that.

"You practice around that, and you gear yourself up for that. I think that’s how I’m going to have to play it from now on. It’s an unfortunate reality, but it’s my reality. And I understand it, and I accept it.”

Woods, who is recovering from a fractured tibia and fibula sustained during a car accident in Los Angeles on Feb. 23, doesn't think a return to the top of the sport is realistic.

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The 45-year-old compared his previous return from back fusion surgery, after which he went on to win the 2019 Masters, to climbing Mount Everest. While Woods believes he'll again be able to "participate in the game of golf," the 15-time major tournament winner has doubts regarding his physical capabilities.

"But as far as climbing the mountain again and getting all the way to the top, I don’t think that’s a realistic expectation of me,” Woods said.

Woods was driving over 80 miles per hour when he lost control of his Genesis SUV and crashed into a tree, sending the vehicle airborne.

He spent three weeks at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, telling Golf Digest, "There was a point in time when, I wouldn’t say it was 50/50, but it was damn near there if I was going to walk out of that hospital with one leg."

Eight months later, and after what has been a grueling and ongoing rehabilitation, Woods said he still has a long way to go.

"I’m not even at the halfway point," he said.

Woods is set to make his first public appearance this week when he attends the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. He'll meet with the media at 9 a.m. ET on Tuesday.

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