Tiger Woods admits return to top-level golf ‘more difficult’ than he let on

Tiger Woods admitted his return to top-level golf was physically harder than he let on after a final round of 73 in the Genesis Invitational.

Woods suffered multiple fractures of his right leg and ankle in a car accident in Los Angeles two years ago and has resigned himself to playing only a handful of events a year for the rest of his career.

The 15-time major winner showed glimpses of his brilliance at Riviera, particularly during a third round of 67, but found it difficult to walk 18 holes for five days in succession in his first event without the use of a cart since last summer’s Open Championship.

“It’s progress, headed in the right direction,” Woods told reporters. “It certainly was a little bit more difficult than I probably let on.

“My team has been fantastic in getting my body recovered day to day and getting me ready to play each and every day. That’s the hard part that I can’t simulate at home.

“Even if I played four days at home, it’s not the same as adrenaline, it’s not the same as the system being ramped up like that, the intensity, just the focus that it takes to play at this level.”

Woods would not be drawn on whether he will contest another PGA Tour event before the Masters in April, adding: “Like I told you guys last year, I’m not going to play any more than probably the majors and maybe a couple more.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods hits from the 13th tee during the final round of the Genesis Invitational (Ryan Kang/AP)

“That’s it, that’s all my body will allow me to do. My back the way it is, all the surgeries I had on my back, my leg the way it is, I just can’t. That’s just going to be my future.

“So my intent last year was to play in all four majors, I got three of the four. Hopefully this year I can get all four and maybe sprinkle in a few here and there.

“But that’s it for the rest of my career. I know that and I understand that. That’s just my reality.”