Former world number one Tiger Woods said Wednesday that he still has no timetable for returning to competitive golf but that elements of his once-mighty game have returned.
In a posting on his website, the 14-time major winner chasing the all-time record of 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus gave no hint that he might be ready to return at next month’s Masters, the first major of 2016.
“While there is no timetable on my return to competitive golf, I want to play this game at the highest level again. In order to do that, I have to get healthy,” Woods said.
Woods has not played since last August. He underwent two surgical procedures on his back and has been idled for months, but last week he denied rumors that he was feeling great pain to accomplish even mundane tasks.
“As I announced last week, I am starting to feel a lot better,” Woods said. “I have been chipping and putting at home and recently started hitting 9-irons. That has been so nice.
“My son Charlie and I compete in just about everything and have three-hole chipping contests. The loser has to do push-ups. My short game feels pretty sharp.
“The big thing right now is trying to get stronger and more flexible. Sitting out as long as I did, some weakening occurred, and I have a lot of work ahead of me.”
Woods said he has had support from rivals who would welcome his return to the US PGA Tour.
“I’ve received many nice calls and texts from my fellow PGA Tour players and want to thank them for their support and encouragement,” Woods said.