The last question in the assistant captains' press conference at the Presidents Cup Wednesday prompted an ominous answer from Tiger Woods: Could you see a scenario where you could not come back to competitive golf?
"Yeah, definitely," Woods said. "I don't know what my future holds for me. As I've told you guys, I'm hitting 60-yard shots."
And just like that, the press conference ended, leaving not just the swell of reporters but surely many others pondering whether the 14-time major winner’s competitive career could already have seen its final round.
The question followed numerous others in the session where Woods reiterated past updates on his health, noting multiple times that he is not rushing the process. As of now, Woods has progressed to hitting those 60-yard shots, putting, chipping and working out daily—only at the allowance of his doctors. He said ultimately his surgeon will determine when Woods is fit to return.
The 41-year-old last played in early February at the Dubai Desert Classic, where he shot a first-round 77 and was forced to withdraw with back spasms. He then had fusion back surgery in April to alleviate regularly occurring pain.