Tiger Woods admits retirement on the horizon as impact of car crash takes its toll

A near-fatal car crash in February 2021 has left him battling lingering mobility problems that have clearly taken their toll
Tiger Woods admits retirement on the horizon as impact of car crash takes its toll

David Raleigh

Golf legend Tiger Woods has indicated at a press conference in Limerick that his professional playing career is nearing an end, as he continues to struggle with injuries sustained in a car crash in which he nearly lost a leg.

The 46-year-old is a 15 time major champion and jointly holds the most PGA Tour wins (82) in the history of the game.

A near-fatal car crash in February 2021 however has left him battling lingering mobility problems that have clearly taken their toll.

With one eye on the McManus Pro-Am and The Open Championship (July 14th-17th), Woods withdrew from this year’s US Open stating he needed “more time” to get stronger for a major tournament.

Speaking at a press briefing at the JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor in Limerick, he indicated his retirement from the professional game is coming sooner rather than later.

He told reporters his physical preparation ahead of The Open at St Andrews has been “worth it, but it’s been hard, I’ve had some very difficult days and some days just moving off of the couch is a hell of a task”.

“I’m very thankful for all the support I have got, my treatment staff, all of my surgeons for repairing this leg and keeping it, and so I have my own two legs, which I tell you I’m not going to take for granted any more - some people do, but some people who come close to, or who have lost a limb understand what I am saying.”

“You have difficult days, but also you have some great days, but my great days are not what they used to be, that’s for sure, but they’re great days that I can spend with my kids and do things that they can do, maybe at a slightly slower pace, but that I can still do with them,” Woods said.

Agreeing he wants to make the most of the time he has left in the professional game, Woods could not say when exactly the window would close on his professional career.

“I don’t know, I really don’t, if you had asked me last year whether I would have played golf again, all my surgeons would have said ‘no’, but here I am playing, and I played two Major championships this year.”

“I will always be able to play golf, whether it’s this leg, or someone else’s leg, or a false leg, or different body pieces that have been replaced or fused, I will always be able to play - now if you said pay at a championships level, that’s just a totally different story, and that window is definitely not as long as I would like it to be.”

As part of his preparation for St Andrews, Woods has been traveling in a golf car rather than walking the Adare Manor course which hosts the 2027 Ryder Cup.

“I’ve been a lot stronger since the PGA that’s for sure, we put in a lot more reps which is great - I still prefer riding in a cart, im doing that here only just because i just don't need to push it right now, i have got a long week ahead of me and all of next week to do that, sp save the legs.”

“We still train hard each and every day but as far as just the duration on my feet, let's just try and keep that to a minimum until we have to, and then when we have to...let's go.”

His plan was “to play the US Open, but physically I was not able to do that, there is no way physically I could have done that, I had some issues with my leg, and it would have put this term in jeopardy."

“This is a pretty historic Open Championship we are going to be playing, and I’m lucky enough to be part of the past champions that have won (at St Andrews) and that wants to play there again.”

The Open returns to the old course on July 14th where Woods has won two of his three Claret Jugs “and I don't know (if) they are ever going to go back while I am still able to play at a high level, so I want to be able to give it at least one more run at a high level”.

Woods confirmed he will stay in Ireland for the next few days to get used to playing lynx courses ahead of his return to St Andrews, which is celebrating 150 years of The Open Championship.

Praising Ireland’s golf courses and hospitality Woods said: “I’ve always loved coming to Ireland, I’ve come here since 1999 when Marco (Mark O’Meara) just here and me and Payne (Stewart) and Marco were over here fishing down in Waterville and we played Ballybunion and Payne made a hole in one, we’ve had some great times.”

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