Home Georgia & USA Tiger Woods on competition: ‘I don’t have much left in this leg’

Tiger Woods on competition: ‘I don’t have much left in this leg’

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NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — Tiger Woods painted an uncertain picture about how much more golf he can play, saying Tuesday that “I don’t have much left in this leg.”

He also doesn’t have much hope that the PGA Tour and the rival Saudi-funded league will be able to get along without Greg Norman at the helm of LIV Golf.

“Not now. Not with their leadership. Not with Greg and his distaste for the tour itself,” Woods said. “I don’t see that happening.”

Rory McIlroy also said in Dubai two weeks ago that Norman needed to “get off the left stage” before any meaningful discussions could take place between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf.

On Tuesday, Woods deftly sidestepped other issues, such as the details of two unexpected surgeries he had last year and whether the 20-man field at the Hero World Challenge should receive world ranking points.

He spoke convincingly about LIV Golf’s influence, citing the controversy the rival league has sparked and how lawsuits are preventing any reconciliation.

“If one side has so much hostility — someone is trying to destroy our tour — how do we work with that?” Woods said.

Phil Mickelson was one of 10 players who filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour in August, after the suit was taken over by LIV Golf. Bryson DeChambeau, Peter Wilain and Matt Jones are the only players still involved as plaintiffs. The PGA Tour has since countersued. The trial is tentatively set for January 2024.

Woods said the lawsuits must be settled — he used the word “stay” more than once — or there is no way forward.

Woods is at Albany Golf Club solely as a tournament host. He was forced to withdraw on Monday because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot, which has made it too difficult to get through 72 holes, even on a relatively flat course for the holiday event.

Woods said he was putting up low scores at home in Florida when he drove the cart. And his next two events — a made-for-TV 12-hole match on Dec. 10 and the PNC Championship with his son next weekend — allow wheelchairs.

“I can hit the golf ball and hit any shot you want,” he said. “I just can’t walk.”

He said the plantar fasciitis was related to injuries he suffered in a car accident in Los Angeles in February 2021, which killed his hopes of playing regularly.

A year ago, Woods was just getting into full swing with the pilot, and his ambition was to make it to St. Andrews for the 150th edition of the British Open. He ended up playing in the Masters and the PGA Championship, too.

That made nine rounds – four at Augusta National, three at the PGA Championship (he retired after the third round) and two at St. Andrews.

Woods felt he was making progress for months after the British Open, only to injure his right leg while trying to prepare for the 72-hole tournament in the Bahamas.

“When you have plantar fasciitis, the worst thing you can do is walk, and I walked more and more trying to get my feet ready for the event, and I just made it worse,” he said. “That’s why it had to be closed.”

He said he would take a month or two off, which wouldn’t affect his golf schedule because he wasn’t going to play that much anyway.

It was. Woods turns 47 on Dec. 30 and has had about as many surgeries as he has majors (15).

“The goal is to play only in the major championships and maybe one or two more. That’s all. Physically it’s all I can do. I told you that too (earlier this year), he said.

“I mean, I don’t have much left at this stage, so get ready for the big ones and hopefully lightning will hit a bottle and I’ll be there in contention with a chance to win and hopefully I’ll remember , how to do it.”

He said he had done everything he could to prepare for St Andrews, only for his foot to get the better of him and lead to an emotional early departure. Woods doesn’t expect to return for another Open at St. Andrews.

His health wasn’t great that week, except for his leg, although it wasn’t COVID-19.

McIlroy, in a wide-ranging interview with the Sunday Independent in Ireland, said he and Woods had played a practice match at Ballybunion on the Thursday before the British Open and McIlroy felt unwell afterwards.

He said he was sweating and had a fever. McIlroy called Woods, who said he felt fine. But later that night, Woods texted him and said he had chills and a fever.

“And I’m like, ‘(expletive) I just got Tiger COVID!’ It’s horrible!” McIlroy said. “So we both had COVID going into the Open.”

Woods said he was tested for the coronavirus and it came back negative.

“Did I feel under the weather? Yeah, I haven’t been feeling good all week,” Woods said. “But I never got a positive test.”

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