Entertainment

Golf icon Woods is snapped practicing his swing at his charity Hero World Challenge

Tiger Woods was spotted wielding a club during his first appearance at a golf tournament since almost losing his leg in a car crash in February.

The sporting icon was also seen hitting balls during some practice at his Hero World Challenge in Nassau on Sunday, although he did not compete in the Bahamian tournament itself. 

The charity event, which saw the Norwegian Viktor Hovland win first place, came on the heels of Wood’s highly anticipated announcement on whether he plans to take part in this year’s PNC charity championship.  Woods, 45, himself presented the Tiger trophy to Hovland while appearing smiling and relaxed, days after sharing how he’d almost lost a limb during the Los Angeles horror smash. 

In the past weeks, Woods has been hinting his return to the course by posting a video of him performing a smooth swing with a wedge captioned ‘Making progress,’ and telling reporters he has recovered enough to hit drivers. 

‘Yes, I can hit it,’ he said on Saturday. ‘It just doesn’t go as far. The power’s not there, but yeah, I can hit drivers. I can hit any club in the bag, it’s just – I’m not to the point where I can hear it land. So I’m OK.’ 

Tiger Woods was spotted at the trophy presentation Sunday in the Hero World Challenge, nine months after almost losing his right leg following his car crash earlier this year. Above, Woods poses with Viktor Hovland of Norway and the trophy after winning the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course

Tiger Woods hits balls on the range during the final round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course

Tiger Woods hits balls on the range during the final round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course

Tiger Woods watches his shot during a training session.  In the past weeks, Woods has been hinting his return to the course by posting a video of him performing a smooth swing with a wedge captioned 'Making progress,' and telling reporters he has recovered enough to hit driver

Tiger Woods watches his shot during a training session.  In the past weeks, Woods has been hinting his return to the course by posting a video of him performing a smooth swing with a wedge captioned ‘Making progress,’ and telling reporters he has recovered enough to hit driver

Speaking last week in the Bahamas at his first press conference since the February crash, the 45-year-old got emotional at times and said he was ‘at peace’ with his rehabilitation and is considering a comeback to participate at The Open, although he ruled out a full-time return to the PGA tour.  

‘I’m lucky to be alive and also have a limb,’ Woods told reporters on November 30. ‘Those are two crucial things, I’m very grateful that someone upstairs was taking care of me, that I’m able to not only be here, but also to walk without a prosthesis.’ 

Tiger Woods is considering a return at the PNC Championships, the annual father-son tournament in Orlando, Florida on December 18-19. He has not played since the PNC Championship last December with his son, Charlie. 

According to reports last week, a source ‘familiar with Woods’ progress’ indicated that an official announcement could come as early as this week, following more practice time and how his body reacts to increased play.

Woods was in a single-car accident in the Los Angeles area on February 23 that resulted in devastating injuries to his right leg and foot. He said last week that amputation was a possibility before having surgery to repair the leg.

Speaking last week in the Bahamas at his first press conference since the February crash, the 45-year-old got emotional at times and said he was 'at peace' with his rehabilitation

Speaking last week in the Bahamas at his first press conference since the February crash, the 45-year-old got emotional at times and said he was ‘at peace’ with his rehabilitation

'I'm lucky to be alive and also have a limb,' Woods told reporters on November 30

‘I’m lucky to be alive and also have a limb,’ Woods told reporters on November 30

'Those are two crucial things, I'm very grateful that someone upstairs was taking care of me, that I'm able to not only be here, but also to walk without a prosthesis,' he added

‘Those are two crucial things, I’m very grateful that someone upstairs was taking care of me, that I’m able to not only be here, but also to walk without a prosthesis,’ he added

Last week, Woods said he is considering a comeback to participate at The Open , although he ruled out a full-time return to the PGA tour

Last week, Woods said he is considering a comeback to participate at The Open , although he ruled out a full-time return to the PGA tour

The 15-time major champion played in last year’s PNC Championship with his son Charlie, who stole the show as the duo finished seventh in a 20-team field.

Woods has ruled out a full-time return to professional golf but says he is still intent on playing tour events as he continues his recovery.

Those close to Woods say there’s every chance of a stunning comeback, although they have also highlighted that the star’s advancing years may make it harder for the champ to return to the peak of his abilities.  

He spoke of his progress and remaining ambitions in the sport, one week after posting a short clip on his official Twitter account showing him hitting balls on a practice range.

Woods required surgery on open fractures to his lower right leg and further injuries to his foot and ankle following the single-vehicle accident, and said at one point he feared that his leg could be amputated.

Woods had completed a remarkable recovery from back surgery to win his 15th major title at the Masters in 2019 but effectively dismissed the possibility of a repeat, telling Golf Digest: ‘I don’t have to compete and play against the best players in the world to have a great life.

‘After my back fusion, I had to climb Mount Everest one more time. I had to do it, and I did.

‘This time around, I don’t think I’ll have the body to climb Mount Everest and that’s OK. I can still participate in the game of golf. I can still, if my leg gets OK, click off a tournament here or there.

‘But as far as climbing the mountain again and getting all the way to the top, I don’t think that’s a realistic expectation of me.

‘I think something that is realistic is playing the tour one day – never full-time, ever again – but pick and choose, just like Mr (Ben) Hogan did. Pick and choose a few events a year and play around that.’  

Tiger Woods, 45, appears to have a new sense of focus and gratitude after surviving a horrific car crash in February. Pictured: Woods speaking at a presser last week ahead of the Hero World Challenge tournament

Tiger Woods, 45, appears to have a new sense of focus and gratitude after surviving a horrific car crash in February. Pictured: Woods speaking at a presser last week ahead of the Hero World Challenge tournament

Woods was in a single-car accident in the Los Angeles area on February 23 that resulted in devastating injuries to his right leg and foot

Woods was in a single-car accident in the Los Angeles area on February 23 that resulted in devastating injuries to his right leg and foot

Genesis GV80 SUV driven by US golfer Tiger Woods of the US is seen at the scene of a single-vehicle crash in Rancho Palos Verdes, California

Genesis GV80 SUV driven by US golfer Tiger Woods of the US is seen at the scene of a single-vehicle crash in Rancho Palos Verdes, California

Woods, who was found to be traveling at almost twice the legal speed limit when he crashed, was hospitalized for weeks before returning to his home in Florida, where he continues to undergo extensive rehabilitation. 

‘It’s been a hell of a road, it’s been a long one and a sore one but I’m making some really positive strides,’ Woods, who didn’t face any criminal charges over the smash, added.

‘I’ve had some really tough days and some setbacks here and there, but overall everything is progressing nicely. I just wish I could do everything that I used to do but I’m not quite there yet.’

Referring to his fears that his injuries were so severe he could lose his leg, Woods added: ‘I wouldn’t say it was 50-50, but it was damn near there if I was going to walk out of that hospital with one leg.’

However, he cautioned against his return to public life being construed as a signal that he is nearing the start of his latest comeback attempt.

‘I have so far to go – I’m not even at the halfway point,’ added Woods.

‘I have so much more muscle development and nerve development that I have to do in my leg. At the same time, I’ve had five back operations. So as the leg gets stronger, sometimes the back may act up – it’s a tough road.’

‘As far as playing at the Tour level, I don’t know that that’s going to happen,’ Woods said this week. ‘I play a round here and there. A little hit and giggle. I can do something like that. The USGA suggests playing forward. I really like that idea now.’

In November, Woods posted a video of him hitting balls for the first time since his car crash

In November, Woods posted a video of him hitting balls for the first time since his car crash

Woods had not made a public comment about his injuries since May. 

In November, he posted a video of him taking practice swings with a wedge. 

‘Making progress,’ was all he said. Woods was wearing a black compression sleeve on his right leg, with a large bucket half-filled with golf balls on a practice range.

He also had a launch monitor behind him that measures such metrics as distance and ball speed. 

In an interview published May 27 in Golf Digest, with which Woods has a financial deal, he described the rehabilitation from this surgery as ‘more painful than anything I have ever experienced.’ He said at the time his top priority was ‘walking on my own.’   

Woods has had 10 surgeries – four on his left knee, five on his lower back and the most recent for the crushing injuries from the car accident in February. He turns 46 on December 30.

He won a third US Open in 2008 while competing on shredded ligaments in his left knee and a double stress fracture, and he returned from fusion surgery on his lower spine in 2017 by winning a fifth Masters in 2019.

His last victory was the Zozo Championship in Japan in the fall of 2019, giving him 82 for his career on the PGA Tour to tie Sam Snead for the all-time record. 

Prior to the crash, the American completed a remarkable recovery from back surgery to win his 15th major title at the Masters in 2019

Prior to the crash, the American completed a remarkable recovery from back surgery to win his 15th major title at the Masters in 2019


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button