Tiger Woods' full-time golf career is over.
“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 told the outlet. "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. It’s an unfortunate reality, but it’s my reality. And I understand it, and I accept it.”
The legendary golf pro fractured both his tibia and fibula in his right leg — injuries that were so severe, he faced the possibility of amputation— after he lost control of his vehicle and plowed into a tree in Los Angeles on February 23. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department later said that speed was to blame for the crash, reporting that Woods tried to pump the brakes but accidentally hit the accelerator before his SUV hit a tree and went airborne.
While Woods told GD he used to feel like he had something to prove after previous injuries, he said this time around that is just not the case. “I don’t have to compete and play against the best players in the world to have a great life,” he said before using a mountain-climbing analogy. “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. 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.”
Tiger went on to add that he has "so far to go" before being able to compete. "I’m not even at the halfway point,” he noted. “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.”
Despite the long journey ahead, Woods said he remains optimistic and has found joy in the simple pleasures of life. "I’m just happy to be able to go out there and watch [my son] Charlie play, or go in the backyard and have an hour or two by myself with no one talking, no music, no nothing," he shared. "I just hear the birds chirping. That part I’ve sorely missed.”