Tiger Woods leaves golf fans saddened in heartbreaking call on future

Tiger Woods, pictured here during a press conference prior to the Hero World Challenge.
Tiger Woods speaks during a press conference prior to the Hero World Challenge. (Photo by Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

Tiger Woods has left golf fans heartbroken after admitting there isn't much left in his surgically repaired right leg, suggesting he's on the verge of retirement. Speaking at a press conference before the Hero World Challenge at the Albany in the Bahamas, Woods opened up about his immediate future in golf.

Still hindered by the leg injuries he suffered in a car accident in 2021, the 46-year-old said he is hoping to play the major championships in 2023 despite setbacks this year. However his comments won't fill fans with much confidence.

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"My goal is to play the major championships and one or two more," Woods said. However he admitted: "Physically that’s all I can do. I don't have much left in this leg."

Woods, who hosts the unofficial event that benefits his TGR Foundation, withdrew from the tournament on Monday because of painful plantar fasciitis in his right foot. He said the ailment was related to the injuries from the crash outside Los Angeles in February of 2021.

“I can hit the golf ball and hit whatever shot you want,” he said. “I just can't walk.”

The 15-time major champion revealed he had undergone two additional surgeries in 2022, although he declined to discuss specifics. Woods appeared in just three professional tournaments in 2022 - making his return elite competition with a 47th-place finish at the Masters in April.

However he withdrew after 54 holes at the PGA Championship, struggling with stamina after making the cut. He then missed the cut at the Open Championship at St. Andrews.

Woods revealed last year that in the aftermath of the crash it was "50-50" as to whether part of his right leg would need to be amputated. On Tuesday he said it's still a challenge to practice enough to be competitive while preserving his health.

"How hard do you push it to make progress while not pushing it too hard to go off the edge and you set yourself back two, three days," he said.

Tiger Woods, pictured here talking to the media at the Hero World Challenge at Albany in the Bahamas.
Tiger Woods talks to the media at the Hero World Challenge at Albany in the Bahamas. (Photo by Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

The plantar fasciitis - inflammation in the foot that causes heel pain - began when he began increasing his playing time in preparation for this week's tournament. "It was a tough decision, just because I want to play," Woods said of pulling out.

"And so I've had a few setbacks during the year that I still was able to somehow play through, but this one I just can't. Only time can heal this one, and stay off my feet and get a lot of treatment done."

Woods said he still plans to play in a 12-hole exhibition match on December 10, teaming with Rory McIlroy against Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. He'll be able to use a cart for that event and in the PNC Championship from December 17-18, where he'll play with son Charlie.

"The (PNC Championship) will be a very easy week," he said. "Charlie will just hit all the shots and I'll just get the putts out of the hole, so pretty easy there."

Woods reiterated that he would never seek permission to use a cart in a tour-level event, firmly believing that walking is part of the game. Given his limitations, he said, he'll "gear up for the biggest ones and hopefully, you know, lightning catches in a bottle and I'm up there in contention with a chance to win." He added: "Hopefully, I remember how to do that."

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Rory McIlroy thought he'd given Tiger Woods Covid

Speaking in a wide-ranging interview with the Sunday Independent in Ireland this week, McIlroy said he and Woods played a practice round at Ballybunion on the Thursday before the British Open and McIlroy was feeling ill afterward. He said sweat was pouring off him and his temperature spiked.

McIlroy called Woods, who reported he was feeling fine. But then Woods texted him that night and said he had chills and a fever.

“And I'm like, ‘(Expletive), I’ve just given Tiger Covid!' This is horrendous!'” McIlroy said. “So we both had Covid going into the Open.”

Woods said he tested for coronavirus and it came back negative. “Was I feeling under the weather? Yes, wasn't feeling great the whole week,” Woods said. “But I never got a positive test.”

with agencies

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