`I'm ready to go,` says returning Tiger Woods
London [UK], Nov. 29 : Former World No. 1 golfer Tiger Woods, who was sidelined for more than 460 days due to back-related issues, is all set to make a comeback to competitive action at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas on Thursday.
"I'm not dead, I'm ready to go," Woods was quoted as saying by the Guardian. He, however, admitted to an element of trepidation.
"I'm nervous for every tournament I play in whether it's after a lay-off or six in a row or a major," he said.
"I care. If I care, I'm nervous. And it's good to be that way. To have that nervous energy and channel it into aggression, into focus, concentration, that's good stuff. If I wasn't nervous, that would mean I didn't care. I don't want to be out there flat. I want to be out here so bad; and now I am," he added.
The 40-year-old had planned to return at last month's PGA Tour's Safeway Open in California but withdrew three days before the opening round, citing a "vulnerable" golf game.
The move had triggered speculation that the 14-time major champion only initially stipulated he would play in the tournaments because of commercial obligations.
However, Woods defended his decision, saying it was a good one.
"The competitor inside me wanted to go so badly and was itching to go. I had been playing at home. I thought if I only have a few shots, it's good enough to get it around. I had played feeling worse," he said.
"But what's the point in rushing back when I've waited over a year to begin with? I've waited this long, it's not going to hurt to wait just this much longer. I have way more shots now because I've played way more golf. I only had a handful of shots back then. I can hit all the shots now, on call," he added.
Woods, who has fallen to 898th in the world, has not played on the PGA Tour since August 2015, having undergone surgeries in September and again in October of that year due to ongoing back problems.
However, he insists that walking is now "easy" and he can "run with my kids now".
"It's a five-mile walk. You forget what it feels like to be in golf shoes versus tennis shoes, to be on an uneven lie versus a flat lie. I can walk for two or three hours on a treadmill and it's not the same as walking on a golf course. It's so different, the standing around," he said.
"The rhythm of playing in a golf cart versus walking and playing. I had forgotten that because I had been away for over a year," he added. (ANI)