WINDERMERE, Fla. – Considering Tiger Woods was embarking on his second comeback this year it was a telling sign of the times that he wasn’t asked about his ailing back until he was halfway through his Tuesday news conference at the Hero World Challenge.
His answer may have been even more telling, “Awful,” he smiled.
Woods went on to explain that the difference this time compared to when he returned at the Quicken Loans National in June following microdiscectomy surgery on March 31 has been his ability to fully heal and strengthen.
“I just had hit driver for the first time the Thursday before I committed (to the Quicken Loans),” Woods said. “I was going to hit less drivers in a tournament round than I would in practice, so I might as well give it a go. Unfortunately, I wasn't ready.”
But this time Woods has been on the DL since missing the cut at the PGA Championship in early August and has used that time – he said he’s been playing for about a month and a half – to ready his body if not his swing.
“It feels great. I've done the proper rehab. I've gotten stronger. I've gotten more explosive. I've gotten faster,” he said. “I just now need to hit more balls, but the body is good. I don't have the sharp pain like I used to at the beginning of the year.”