Tiger Woods reiterated on Saturday that he fully intends to return to the PGA Tour, he just doesn’t know when.
Woods is serving as tournament host for The Genesis Invitational, where earlier this week he said he wished he could say when he’ll return to competition. Asked by CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz during Saturday’s third round whether it was “fair” to say that he would play on the PGA Tour in 2022, Woods declined to commit to a timetable.
“You’ll see me on the PGA Tour, I just don’t know when,” he said. “I’d love to tell you that I’ll be playing next week, but I don’t know when.
“It’s frustrating in that sense, because I’ve been down this road before with my back when I didn’t know when I was going to come back. It’s hard, because it’s hard not to have goals out there — you know, ‘I want to play this event so I can set myself up for that mentally and physically and emotionally.’ I don’t have any of those dates in my head. I don’t know yet.”
Asked specifically about playing the Masters in April, Woods said, “I don’t know.”
Pressed by Nantz whether we can expect to see him play the par-3 tournament the Wednesday before the start of the Masters, Woods laughed and said, “Slow down, Turbo.”
The 46-year-old is continuing his recovery from last year’s car accident two days after the Genesis that nearly cost him his right leg.
“It could have been far worse,” Woods said of the accident. “I am so lucky and thankful to all of the doctors here that put the leg back together again. Because I could have easily lost it. I still have my own limb, so I’m really thankful for that.”
Woods is playing casual rounds at Medalist near his home in Jupiter, Florida, but said he’s not ready to walk courses on the PGA Tour while competing against the best players in the world.
He did play in the 36-hole PNC Championship with his son, Charlie, in December, but that was with the use of a golf cart.
“I can hit balls, the hard part is actually walking. So, that’s going to take some time,” he said.“The ankle mobility. Over time, the ankle swells, the foot swells, the leg swells. “That’s just time.”
When Nantz said that he would like to see the 15-time major winner back on the golf course, Woods smiled and said, “I would like that, too.”
Niemann keeps lead
Joaquin Niemann shot a 3-under-par 68 in a wild ride to widen his lead to three strokes after three rounds.