Tiger Woods will go down as arguably the greatest golfer of all time. But after his devastating car accident in February of last year, he may never return to full-time action on the PGA Tour, the Huff Post reports.
In an interview with Golf Digest, the five-time Masters champion shared his thoughts on his new normal.
“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,” Woods explained. “Pick and choose a few events a year and you play around that.”
“I think that’s how I’m going to have to play it from now on,” he continued. “It’s an unfortunate reality but it’s my reality. And I understand it, and I accept it.”
After suffering from chronic back pain, Woods believes he could still compete in the sport but he no longer feels that pressure anymore.
“I don’t have to compete and play against the best players in the world to have a great life,” he said “After my back fusion, I had to climb Mt. 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 Mt. Everest, and that’s OK,” he continued. “I can still participate in the game of golf. I can still, if my leg gets OK. I can still 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."
According to the accident report, Wood's vehicle crossed over a median into two lanes of oncoming traffic, collided with a sign, and traveled off the road, rolling several times before coming to a halt.
As a result of the collision, he suffered comminuted open fractures to both the upper and lower portions of his tibia and fibula in his right leg, as well as damage to the ankle bones and trauma to the muscle and soft tissue of the leg.
At the time, Woods was driving 84 to 87 mph in a 45-speed limit, which the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said was the primary cause of the collision.
Woods said that he has a long way to go before he can ever return to the green.
“I have so far to go … I’m not even at the halfway point,” he said. “I have so much more muscle development and nerve development that I have to do in my leg. At the same time, as you know, I’ve had five back operations. So I’m having to deal with that. So as the leg gets stronger, sometimes the back may act up.”