There is no doubt in Tiger Woods’ mind that he wants to play the game for way longer than he has and now more than ever he wants to do things to extend his career.
A year ago, there were no guarantees about whether he would even swing a club at a competitive round again. But now he is looking fresh, fit and happier than he has been in a long time. Those who have seen him at some of his intense practice sessions are convinced he will do well.
Now he is more open than he has been all his career; sought out friends from within golf and other sports to see what he needs to do to get back to what he wants to best — play golf and win.
After pulling out of Safeway Championships in September, he penciled out Hero World Challenge for his comeback. “A few things happened. The Ryder Cup helped a lot in the sense that I got a chance to be out there with the guys and see it and feel it and experience it.
“As hard as it was on me to take it off and pull out of the event (Safeway), it was a smart thing to do even though as a competitive athlete it killed me inside. I wanted to compete. I’ve played with less and I’ve won. So let’s be a little patient, a little smarter and let’s come back when things are a little more together.”
Then he worked on his fitness. “I was riding my bike at home 30, 50 and 70 miles per week on these rides. That’s different than walking a golf course. I can walk on a treadmill for two, three hours. It’s not the same, putting on spikes and uneven lies. I come in, my ankles are sore, my feet are sore. This is different, and so I had to get used to that. Even Joey hadn’t been on a golf course in a while, he rides at home in a cart. He was saying I need to get in shape, too, so we did it together, we did it as a team, and it was fun,” said Woods.
Knowing the course plays a big role too, Woods believes he knows the course at Albany very well.
Woods also took tips from other sportsmen like Derek Jeter (baseball), Tim Duncan (Basketball), Kobe Bryant (basketball) and Peyton Manning (American football), whose careers ended with injuries. “In golf you can do it different ways. So I’m just going to have to find different ways of doing it.”
Now he wants a reduced and shorter schedule but a longer career.