Woods on return: Could be a week or a year from now


Tiger Woods is still playing coy about a return to the PGA Tour, and after hitting three balls in the water Monday morning, that's likely prudent.

Speaking at media day for the Quicken Loans National, Woods was asked about his health and whether he might be able to play in his own event come late June.

"Health?" Woods answered. "I feel good. Thank you. My kids are sick but I’m good.

"On a serious note, I have been practicing at home. I'm progressing nicely. I'm hoping to play. I don’t know if I'm going to play."

Based only on his ability to swing a wedge shortly after those comments, the outlook doesn't look good. Kicking off the Quicken Loans' Shot for Heroes Challenge, Woods hit three consecutive wedge shots from 102 yards into the water on the 10th hole at Congressional Country Club. Woods stretched before hitting the shots, audibly groaned on multiple occasions and admitted he was stiff. After putting three in the drink, Woods shook hands and posed for pictures.

Asked about his recovery, Woods said, as he has at multiple public appearances over the last month, that he's trying to get "stronger" and "more pliable" as he continues to recover from multiple microdisectomy surgeries performed last fall.

"It’s trying to get stronger and to recover day by day," he said. "To be able to go out there and feel good at the end of a practice session and to go out the next day and do it again.

"I used to practice 8-10-12 hours a day. That won’t happen again. I used to run 5-6 miles a day. That won't happen again, either.

"Things are changing. Things have to be altered. My practices are much more focused now. … I have to get a lot out of it in a shorter amount of time."

When it comes to the big picture, Woods was asked by reporters if he believes Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major championships is still attainable. The 14-time major winner believes it is.

"His major championship record is certainly still attainable," Woods answered. "Got him on regular wins already.

"Sam (Snead)’s record (of 82 PGA Tour wins) I’d like to get as well. I’m No. 2 on both lists. I’d like to be No. 1 on both lists."

Woods did admit that it's frustrating for him not to play on venues on which he's enjoyed so much success, like Augusta National and Bay Hill, and that the prospect of missing more major championships is difficult.

Still, he said he won't rush his recovery and left open the possibility that he will miss the entire season.

"Whether it’s next week or a year from now," he said. "I don’t know.”