Tiger Woods’s return to competitive golf has been an incredible boost for the sport. Since his comeback at the Hero World Challenge last December, Woods has competed in 14 PGA Tour events, missing only two cuts and finishing in the top 10 five times, including two runner-up finishes. His most recent performance — featuring a charge up the leaderboard at Bellerive on Sunday — resulted in a 69 percent final-round ratings increase at the PGA Championship.
Watching Tiger over the last eight months, it seems hard to believe that at this time last year, he still wasn’t sure if a return to competitive golf would even be possible. As recently as last September’s Presidents Cup, Woods told the media he could envision a scenario in which he doesn’t return to competitive golf.
Sir Nick Faldo, a six-time major winner and TV analyst for CBS and Golf Channel, made headlines after the PGA Championship when he appeared on Dan Patrick’s radio show. In the interview, Faldo described what he heard: Woods said his playing career may be over at the 2017 Masters champions dinner.
In an interview with ESPN at the Northern Trust Pro-Am on Wednesday, Woods was asked about Faldo’s comments, and he went into detail about the uncertainty he faced.
“At that time, I was done,” Woods told ESPN. “I didn’t know what I was going to do be doing. I had no golf in my future at that time. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t sit. I left from there to go see a specialist about what are my options.”
Woods ultimately decided to go forward with the fusion surgery after returning home from the Masters in 2017 — and the rest is history.