Monday, May 29, 2023

Tiger Woods breaks silence after car crash, says first goal is ‘walking on my own’ after ‘painful’ recovery


After undergoing surgery on his right leg following a horrific car crash near Los Angeles three months ago, there have been few updates on Tiger Woods’ health other than the occasional statement from his team or social media post.

It should serve as some encouragement that Woods spoke on the record about his injuries with Golf Digest this week. Though he would not comment about playing golf again (he likely does not even know yet what the future holds for him in that regard), his mangled leg does seem to be getting better, though it’s been (understandably) slow going.

“This has been an entirely different animal,” Woods told Golf Digest about his recent rehab. “I understand more of the rehab processes because of my past injuries, but this was more painful than anything I have ever experienced.” 

Woods, who said his primary goal is simply walking under his own power, also shared this photo of himself on crutches while standing with a young girl who has cancer. It’s one of just two times we have physically seen him since the car crash.

Old pal Rickie Fowler visited Woods him during the Masters and gave an update on his condition a few weeks ago.

“One thing [Justin Thomas] told me, he went over pretty much after [Woods] got back from L.A. and J.T. told me, ‘Honestly, he was a lot better than I expected.’ So that was good to hear,” said Fowler.

“It was good to see him,” he added. “Hung out and spent some time with Charlie [Woods’ son] and Sam [Woods’ daughter] was there for a little bit before she had to go to soccer practice.”

There’s a lot of unknown about Woods’ future. Not just on the golf course but just as a human being who is trying to get back to some kind of normal life. That has been upended a lot over the years as Woods has been in some sort of physical pain for most of his kids’ lives, though a spinal fusion surgery in 2017 finally gave him some respite from that agony.

“I think his main focus and concern is getting back to being a dad, go play golf with Charlie, push him around and be able to run around with Sam,” said Fowler.

Woods may not ever play golf professionally again, but surely last week’s PGA Championship win by Phil Mickelson at age 50 serves as inspiration for him both on and off the course.

Tiger’s place in the game is secure whether he ever touches a club again, but it’s meaningful to Lefty stay relevant into his 50s. Tiger can achieve the same whether it’s through playing, designing courses or something else related to golf.

The good news overall is that Woods is progressively getting better. It’s been encouraging to hear guys like Rory McIlroy, Thomas and Fowler talk about visiting him, watching golf with him and simply sharing their lives with him. After all the ups and downs he’s experienced, that’s a gift for them. And for him.


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