Tiger says 'progressing nicely,' no date for return

Reuters News
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Posted: May 16, 2016 6:20 PM

(Reuters) - Tiger Woods said on Monday he is making progress in his recovery from back surgery last year but still has no idea when he will make his return to the PGA Tour.

Woods, who has not competed since the Wyndham Championship in August said he is seeking consistency in his game but was unable to say how long that would take.

"If I knew, I would tell you because it would be fun to know," the former world number one said during media day for the June 23-26 Quicken Loans National which he hosts.

"It would be nice to know that I am going to play on such a date, but I don't know. I'm still trying to get stronger, I'm trying to get more pliable. I'm hitting the ball better.

Woods, who first had back surgery in 2014, was seemingly injury-free in 2015 but then had a second microdisectomy in September and a follow-up procedure six weeks later.

He has competed in only 18 events on the U.S. circuit since the end of 2013 but has recently been playing friendly games at Medalist, his home club in Florida.

"Everything about my game is coming around," said Woods, who has not won a tournament anywhere since the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

"Now it's just a matter of being consistent with it, and then be able to do that not only at home against the boys at Medalist and try to take their cash, but try to come out here and do it against the best players in the world is a completely different deal."

The 40-year-old Woods, who once used to practice up to 12 hours a day, has admitted he has to lighten his training routine since his days of hitting 500 consecutive golf balls are over.

Woods, who still feels Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 majors is attainable, said when he decides to make his return it could be a last-minute decision.

"It could be, it may not be. It may be just say, hey, the plan is to get well and whether that's by next week or that's a year from now, I don't know," said Woods.

"That's the hard part. Me telling you, I don't know. My doctors don't know, I don't know. All we know is I just need to keep progressing, keep getting stronger, which I am, and that's the good part."

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Steve Keating)