LOS ANGELES — Tiger Woods walked again into the epicenter of the golf world Tuesday, simply days after he introduced he can be taking part in within the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Nation Membership. He mentioned many matters, together with his well being, the way in which he approaches taking part in aggressive golf at this stage of his profession and the place the PGA Tour stands in its ongoing battle with LIV Golf.
Listed here are 5 main takeaways from Woods 25-minute information convention.
He will not play except he thinks he can win
Early into his interview, Woods identified that Arnold Palmer performed in 50 Masters tournaments, which meant by the tip of his profession, the act of taking part in in such a event was extra ceremonial than aggressive. In what was maybe essentially the most introspective second of the information convention, Woods was then requested in regards to the idea of taking part in occasions as a figurehead for the sport versus taking part in to win a event.
No, no, I am not taking part in 50, Woods stated with a smile. His face straightened. I do know that gamers have performed and theyre ambassadors of the sport making an attempt to develop the sport. I am unable to wrap my thoughts round that. As a competitor, if I am taking part in the occasion. Ill try to beat you. Simply taking part in and simply making an attempt to be out right here with the fellows now that is not in my DNA.
Woods stated as a lot when requested in regards to the thought means of taking part in at Riviera — the PGA Tours fourth designated occasion in 2023 — this week.
Id not put myself on the market if I did not suppose I might beat these guys, Woods, who hasnt gained a event for the reason that 2019 Masters, stated.
The 15-time main championship winner did acknowledge that therell come a time when not even hell be capable of overcome age, time and bodily illnesses like he as soon as did with fields of golfers. He has not allowed his thoughts, nevertheless, to stay in that harsh actuality simply but.
The most important well being situation is his proper ankle
Talking of bodily illnesses, Woods specified that, though his proper leg has improved, its the ankle holding him again in the intervening time, and he has needed to stability the restoration side of it whereas additionally making an attempt to construct his power to ensure that him to play.
I can nonetheless hit pictures, nevertheless its the strolling endurance that is exhausting, Woods stated. That is one thing that we have needed to work on, strolling distances on the seaside, simply principally stress it out but additionally be capable of recuperate by the subsequent day and see how its inflammationwise after which hold working towards. Ill have overdone it a pair instances right here or there, however right here Im.
When requested whether or not he has walked 72 holes over the course of 4 days this 12 months — like he presumably must this week if he makes the lower — Woods stated he had not.
Woods chronicled the ramp as much as this weeks occasion, which he stated was at all times the place he deliberate to make his return, saying his yard apply amenities have allowed him to chip and putt and hit balls day-after-day earlier than constructing as much as taking part in a couple of holes, 9 holes and ultimately a full 18 holes.
I am not going to be taking part in a full schedule, Woods reiterated when requested if he anticipates ever getting again to full power. I would prefer to play extra however will my physique permit me to? I do not know. And Ive to be practical about that.
He didnt downplay the potential stress between PGA Tour and LIV gamers on the majors
Following his debut at Riviera, Woods stated hell put together for the Masters, which would be the first main occasion this 12 months that may characteristic each PGA Tour golfers and LIV golfers. When requested about what he expects the dynamic to be like between the 2 factions, Woods stated he was not sure however he is aware of will probably be completely different.
I do not know what that responses going to be, he stated. I do know that a few of our friendships have actually taken a special path, however well see when all that transpires.
In relation to the potential of stress on the yearly Champions Dinner, which can presumably characteristic golfers from each side, Woods stated the precedence is to have fun final 12 monthss winner, Scottie Scheffler.
The Champions Dinner goes to be clearly one thing that is talked about, Woods stated. Ensuring that Scottie will get honored appropriately but additionally realizing the character of what has transpired and the folks that have left, simply the place our conditions are both legally, emotionally, theres loads there.
He acknowledged Rory McIlroy because the ambassador who has led the PGA Tour by way of a troublesome 12 months
With LIV dominating the dialog since final 12 monthss event at Riviera, Woods took a second to mirror on every little thing that has transpired over the previous 12 months.
It has been very turbulent. … It has been troublesome, there is not any lie, Woods stated. We by no means would have anticipated the sport of golf to be on this state of affairs, however its, that is the fact. Clearly, they are a aggressive group making an attempt to create their greatest product they probably can, and were making an attempt to create the perfect product that we expect is the way forward for golf, the way it must be performed. How can we do this? Were nonetheless engaged on that.
Woods didnt give a particular evaluation of whether or not he believed LIV to nonetheless be a menace to the PGA Tour, however did notice that a part of the Tours future success relies upon not solely on gamers being aligned, however recognizing that taking part in overseas is vital to the way forward for the game.
McIlroy, who performed in Dubai earlier this month and has been one of the vital vocal gamers towards LIV Golf, was referenced by Woods as our ambassador.
It has been robust on him, however he is been distinctive, Woods stated. To have the ability to undergo all that, I have been with him on all these convention calls and facet conferences, and for him to go on the market and play and win, it has been unbelievable.
He stated the PGA Tours No. 1 precedence must be to create the perfect product
The PGA Tours evolution from the appearance of LIV Golf to the gamers assembly in Delaware final 12 months has been a quick one, with Woods spearheading a whole lot of the efforts which can be beginning to come to fruition corresponding to restructured schedules and purses. The elevated occasions, with their $20 million purses, have introduced almost all the highest gamers on the earth collectively on any given week. Woods acknowledged combined feelings from the gamers whore rank-and-file, however known as the early returns of the designated occasions constructive.
We have to hold going with it and want to remain aligned and hold progressing and making it higher, Woods stated. We have to produce the perfect product we probably can to promote to all of the viewerships.
Woods stated he has had conversations with gamers at each degree in an effort to hear their ideas, however famous that in the end the PGA Tour is making an attempt to create the perfect product that may stand out in a crowded market.
An unstated by way of line throughout lots of the questions Woods was requested on Tuesday was the fact that he should still be the one participant who can replenish information convention rooms and galleries alike. That has been a not-so-insignificant a part of why the PGA Tour has discovered itself on this precarious place within the first place. Woods has completed his half on and off the course to maintain the practice on its tracks, however even hes conscious there is a hole that must be crammed.
I used to be fortunate sufficient to get a sponsors exemption right here at 16 years previous, Woods stated of his debut at Riviera in 1992. So is that doable in that new mannequin? We have to create alternatives like that. I look again, I received fortunate and I used to be in a position to play on this occasion. … I received these alternatives very early in my profession. We do not need the subsequent stars to not have these alternatives. We need to create the subsequent stars.