ANTALYA, Turkey – Justin Rose, who has endured his share of injuries in his career, including an ailing back late last year, knows the road ahead for Tiger Woods as well as anyone.
Woods, who has been sidelined since undergoing his fourth back surgery in April, announced this week he plans to return to competition later this month at the Hero World Challenge, a limited-field, unofficial PGA Tour event played in the Bahamas.
On Wednesday as he prepared for this week’s Turkish Airlines Open, Rose was asked his thoughts on Woods’ most recent comeback.
“You can tell that he's beginning to get some confidence back in his body. And obviously with that, confidence will come back in his golf game,” said Rose, who won last week’s WGC-HSBC Champions. “I think that is just fantastic for the golf world to see him back healthy and out of pain.”
Rose did, however, suggest that the public should temper its expectations for the former world No. 1, at least for a few tournaments.
“I think from my point of view, to expect him to come out and win and compete immediately, is maybe unrealistic,” Rose said. “Knowing Tiger, it will take him a week or two or three of feeling good for him to start thinking that he can achieve some fantastic things again. But step one for him is being out of pain and enjoying the game of golf and he can definitely build on that.”
Rose withdrew during the second round of last year’s Hero World Challenge, when he was paired with Woods, with an ailing back and is scheduled to play this year’s event.