He's back (almost).
Tiger Woods said he's now hitting full shots and working with his coach, Hank Haney, to get ready for his return to the PGA Tour. Although, he said he won't return to the PGA Tour until after the birth of his second child, expected this month, according to his web site, tigerwoods.com "I did some work with Hank Haney for a few days last week and it's all good," Woods said. "I'm full-bore with my practice sessions and have no restrictions; it's just a matter of getting my golf endurance up. I don't have my golf stamina back yet."
The news that Woods is close to returning to the game is welcome news for fans, TV executives and tournament directors, who have seen declining attendance and ratings while Woods has been recovering from knee surgery. However, Woods stopped short of naming his actual return date, a subject of much speculation. His announcement virtually assures Woods will compete in this year's Masters tournament.
"As for my comeback to the PGA Tour, a lot depends on the baby, which is due pretty soon. That takes precedent over anything I do golf-wise," Woods said. "Elin, Sam and I are very excited for the new baby to arrive, although that's when the real lack of sleep begins."
Woods, 33, has found himself in the role of stay-at-home dad since June 2008, when he underwent reconstructive knee surgery following his dramatic U.S. Open win at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif. He's said he enjoyed spending the extra time with his daughter and that his knee injury has been a "blessing" in many ways.
"But I must admit, I am also excited about returning to competition," Woods said. "Early on, I didn't miss golf because I enjoyed staying home with Elin and Sam and I knew I wasn't physically able to play.
"The truth is, I would have embarrassed myself. Now, I'm getting my feel and practice back. It's just a matter of playing more on the course," Woods said.
As for how well he will play following knee surgery, his fourth surgery on his left knee, Woods said the knee feels better than ever and that he hasn't had to change his swing.
"Many people have asked me if my swing has changed since the surgery, and the answer is no. I'm doing all the things I've been trying to do for a long time, but I can actually hit into my left leg without my bones moving," Woods said. "It's a nice feeling! It is so much better than it ever has been because my bones aren't grinding against each other. As for my length, I can't tell if I'm longer." Tiger Tracker | A Life in Pictures | Tiger's New Rivals | Tiger's Sports Illustrated Covers