Tiger Woods’ health is once again a topic for discussion following his withdrawal from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, and a new interview with Woods didn’t do much to quell those concerns.
While video of Woods with former R&A chief Peter Dawson was released Wednesday, the interview appears to have taken place last Tuesday in Dubai. That means it pre-dates Woods’ pairing with Dawson in last week’s pro-am, his opening-round 77 and decision to withdraw prior to the second round because of back spasms.
Given the context, Woods still offers some insight to his current situation – and the ginger approach he takes to getting into a chair around the 2:40 mark of the video shows that he may not have been 100 percent healthy to start the week.
“I feel good, not great,” Woods told Dawson. “Granted, I don’t think I’ll ever feel great because it’s three back surgeries and four knee operations. I’m always going to be a little bit sore. It’s just the way it is. But as long as I can function, and function at a good enough level, then I’m fine with that.”
Woods shared that there were “plenty of times” when he feared he would not return to an “elite level” while sitting out more than a year because of a back injury. He told Dawson that his focus has been on refining his game, which requires a certain level of practice that he couldn’t achieve last year.
“Playing once every three or four weeks, that’s not going to cut it,” he said. “There were a lot of times when I didn’t think I was going to make it back.”
Woods remains in the field for next week’s Genesis Open, an event which his charitable foundation operates, and agent Mark Steinberg told GolfChannel.com this week that there is “no update” to Woods’ health or prognosis. The 41-year-old is also expected to play the Honda Classic the following week, and he reiterated to Dawson that his goal remains to prepare for the Masters.
“The whole plan was to get my body, mind and spirit ready for that first full week in April,” Woods said. “You know, I’ve done it four times, and I’d love to do it a fifth.”
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