Tiger Woods laid out a plan for the 2024 season and said the best-case scenario for his return to golf is to potentially play one tournament a month.
Woods suggested a scenario of playing the Genesis Invitational in February and then finding a tournament for March before the majors begin in April.
“I need to prepare for all that. I think this week is a step in that direction,” he said at a news conference Tuesday at the Hero World Challenge, the golf tournament he hosts annually in the Bahamas. “I’m as curious as all of you to see what happens. …I don’t have any ankle pain like I had at Augusta or before.”
Woods exited the Masters with Drew on April 9 due to plantar fasciitis and underwent subsequent ankle surgery that month. His foot condition also caused him to withdraw from Hero World Challenge 2022.
The 15-time major champion said that although he feels no pain in his ankle, his aches and pains have moved to his knees and back. Despite that, Woods still “absolutely” believes he can win tournaments.
Woods, 47, will tee off for Tuesday’s Hero World Challenge practice round at 11:52 a.m. ET with Justin Thomas. The 23rd edition of the event begins Nov. 30 and features multiple PGA stars including Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa and Scottie Scheffler.
Talk of the PGA Tour working to reach a deal with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund ahead of the Dec. 31 deadline dominated Tuesday’s news conference. Woods said both sides are working together without “animosity.”
PGA Tour players were surprised by the PGA’s framework agreement with PIF, owner of LIV Golf, on June 6 to merge their business operations. PGA golfers were kept in the dark about the deal and then reportedly sent PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan a letter demanding a review of the tour’s power structure.
In response to player unrest, the tour added a sixth player position to player directors on the all-powerful PGA Tour policy board in August: Woods.
Asked if he has faith in Monahan after the framework agreement, Woods said, “I have faith in Jay and what he could do in the future and what can’t happen again.”
Tiger Woods, member of the board of directors.
Woods doesn’t seem sure what professional golf will look like in a year. He wasn’t necessarily sure a PGA Tour deal would be reached with PIF before the deadline, and the most he provided in terms of contingencies was to say there were “other options” if a deal isn’t reached.
But the main takeaway was how authoritarian he was as a new board member, clearly stating that the players need more power in the tour’s decision-making process and how frustrated he was that Monahan reached a framework agreement with PIF behind his back. . Woods seems incredibly committed to his new role and making sure to steer golf in the right direction, even if there is still a very murky road ahead. — Brody Miller, Golf Staff Writer
Why is he making another comeback?
The most important detail from Tuesday was that Woods is not in pain. He hasn’t played much golf and has no idea how he’ll do this week, but that part may be resolved in the coming months. The key for Woods is that he can caddy for his son Charlie and walk 90 holes over the next week without pain, something he hasn’t been able to say for years. However, when asked if he believes he can still win events, he confidently said, “Absolutely,” so you know the root of the problem is that he just wants to keep competing.
His statement that the hope is to play one tournament a month next season is jarring considering the horrific car accident he was in two years ago and the surgery he had this spring. No, Woods will never be the star he once was, but if he can stay healthy and play pain-free, Woods still has a future playing golf on the big stage. -Miller
(Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty)