BETHESDA, Md. – Tiger Woods gave insight into the progression of his game over the last three months while recovering from microdiscectomy surgery to repair a pinched nerve in his back.
Woods began putting almost immediately after his March 31 surgery but he wasn’t allowed to bend over to pick the ball out of the hole. So he filled the holes with sand in the practice area in his South Florida backyard, which allowed him to still know if he made a putt without putting pressure on his back to bend down.
Next, Woods moved to chipping and pitching.
“And then we added, basically about 10 yards every day to two days depending on how I felt, how much inflammation was in the area,” Woods said Tuesday at the Quicken Loans National. “That’s how it went to the point where I was out there hitting drivers a couple weeks ago, and then I started playing golf.
“I wanted to knock off a little bit of rust on the range before I actually went out there and tried not to embarrass myself on the golf course.”
To be certain, there was a lot of down time for Woods, which is something that agitates him. He even spent time watching the U.S. Open.
“I watched a little bit of it,” he said. “But also watched more World Cup than I did golf.”
Woods insists that he now listens to his body and doesn’t push it as much as he did a decade ago. He insists that he's ready to go this week even though many question if he's coming back to soon.
“I have great trainers, great physios, and they have been lock-step with my surgeon the entire times,” he said. “We had a game plan for how we were going to do it, and we did it, and I've been able to play and hit balls and drivers and go out there and do whatever I wanted to do.”