Tiger Woods Unsure of When He Will Return to Golf; Feels Lucky to Be Alive After Crash

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
November 30, 2021 Updated: November 30, 2021

NASSAU, Bahamas—Tiger Woods had nothing to say about the February car crash that shattered his right leg and even less of an idea what his future in golf holds for him except that he’s a long way from deciding whether he can compete against the best.

“I can show up here and I can host an event, I can play a par-3 course, I can hit a few shots, I can chip and putt,” he said Tuesday. “But we’re talking about going out there and playing against the world’s best on the most difficult golf courses under the most difficult conditions.

“I’m so far from that.”

Woods addressed the media for the first time since his Feb. 23 crash on a winding road in the Los Angeles coastal suburbs. Police said he was driving at least 84 mph when he crossed a median and his SUV tumbled down a hill.

Tiger Woods crash
The vehicle of golfer Tiger Woods, who was rushed to hospital after suffering multiple injuries, lies on its side after being involved in a single-vehicle accident in Los Angeles, Calif., on Feb. 23, 2021. (KNBC via Reuters)

Asked his recollection of the accident, Woods said curtly, “All those answers have been answered in the investigation, so you can read about all that there in the police report.” When asked if he had any flashbacks to the trauma, he replied: “I don’t, no. Very lucky in that way.”

He also felt lucky to be alive and to still have his right leg, and to be able to walk into the press center at Albany Golf Club without a noticeable limp.

Woods is the tournament host of the Hero World Challenge, which starts Thursday for 20 elite players in an unofficial holiday event he has held for two decades.

The golf Masters Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods on the 4th hole during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., on Nov. 15, 2020.(Mike Segar/Reuters)

Woods had said he will never play a full-time schedule again, but he could still pick and choose a few tournaments a year. He said returning the Masters, which he won in 2019 after fusion surgery on his lower back, was too far away to know he could play.

“I don’t foresee this leg ever being what it used to be, hence I’ll never have the back what it used to be, and clock’s ticking,” said Woods, who turns 46 on Dec. 30.

“I’ve come off surgeries before, I’ve come off long layoffs and I’ve won or come close to winning before. So I know the recipe for it,” he said. “I’ve just got to get to a point where I feel comfortable enough where I can do that again.”

By Doug Ferguson