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Tiger Offers Glimmer Of Hope That He May Soon Be Back

By: Golfshake Editor | Mon 02 May 2016

Post by Sports Writer Derek Clements

TIGER WOODS has entered for the US Open, but don't build up your hopes - it doesn't mean that we will be seeing him at Oakmont. He had to register because if he hadn't, and turns out to be fit, he wouldn't have been able to play in any event.

We haven't seen him in action since August last year, when he suffered a recurrence of his back problems and pledged that he would not be back until he was convinced that he was fully fit. In the interim, he has turned 40 and his quest to match or beat Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors seems like an impossible dream.

A USGA spokesman said: “He has entered the championship, just like all the exempt players who have that status for the US Open."

The good news for those of us who want to see Woods give it one more go is that he has been having lengthy practice sessions and has even played a few holes with Mark O'Meara, one of his closest friends.

Woods has not played since finishing joint 10th in the Wyndham Championship last year, after which he underwent two back operations in the space of six weeks.

He said: “I’m definitely a little tired but I feel pretty good. I haven’t been out here playing like this. I hadn’t played any holes until today. I know people have said I’ve played holes back at Medalist, but I haven’t. This is actually the first time I’ve played holes since Wyndham. It’s been a while.

“I’m just progressing, going at it nice and smooth. But that is harder than I have been going at it the last month. Just gradually progressing. We’re just trying to progress and I’m doing that.”

He had been downbeat about his prospects of ever playing again, saying at the end of 2015 that he could not see a light at the end of the tunnel and admitting anything he achieved now would be “gravy."

“I would not have said I would be here like this five months ago,” he added. “I wouldn’t have thought I’d be able to do what I did here now. Or play with my kids again, things of that nature. It’s been a long road. To actually be able to play soccer with my kids again, to do something like this, to be able to live life ... that’s what’s been nice. Five months ago I couldn’t. To be three months out of surgery and feel like that, it was tough. I still have a long way to go [but] I’m on the back side. I’m getting better, but I’m also getting closer to feeling better every day.

“I’ve got to get stronger and I’ve got to get faster. I’m not hitting it very far right now. I still have a lot more to go in the tank as far as speed, which is great. I’m able to hit the ball as far as I am right now just cruising. Then trying to work on new drivers, too, at the same time. That’s kind of a test."

In his prime, Woods was one of the hardest workers the game has ever seen, spending hours on the range and in the gym. Those days are probably gone forever. In fact, he admitted that one of his biggest worries is not being able to pound lots of balls with the driver. “I know I need to hit a bunch of drivers. But I can’t hit a bunch of drivers. I’m trying to figure that out.

“I haven’t set any date to when I’m playing again, which is frustrating to say. But to be honest with you, that’s what I’ve had to do. I’ve had to go with that mindset. Would I have said that five months ago? No way. I couldn’t imagine then feeling like I do right now. Keep improving. Keep getting better. Keep making progress. And I’m doing that.”

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Tags: tiger woods

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