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Tiger Woods is riding in a cart this week at the PNC Championship, which marks his first time back out on the course after his February car crash.
Though this week is different — Woods is playing alongside his son, Charlie, in the modified 20-team, two-person event in Orlando — Woods insisted that he’d never request a golf cart to compete in an official PGA Tour event.
“No, absolutely not. Not for a PGA Tour event, no,” Woods said Friday, via Golfweek. “That’s just not who I am. That’s not how I’ve always been, and if I can’t play at that level, I can’t play at that level.”
Woods suffered a broken tibia and fibula in his right leg after he was in a terrifying rollover car crash in Southern California in February.
Now, approaching the one-year mark, Woods said he’s a long way off from competing in a real event again. Walking 18 holes, he said, is out of the question anywhere.
“I couldn’t walk this golf course even right now, and it’s flat,” Woods said, via the PGA Tour. “I don’t have the endurance. My leg is not quite right yet, and it’s going to take time … I’m a long way from playing tournament golf. This is hit, hop in a cart and move about my business just like I would at Medalist.
“Being able to play tournament golf and being able to recover, practice and train and hit balls after a round and do all of the things that I need to be at a high level, I’m a long way away from that.”
Because he can’t walk, Woods would likely be able to mount a pretty good argument to be granted an exemption to ride in a cart in a Tour event if he wanted.
Yet the 82-time winner isn’t about it — and even took a playful shot at John Daly, who has requested to use a cart multiple times to due osteoarthritis in his knee.
“As far as J.D. taking a cart, well, I walked with a broken leg, so …” Woods said, remembering the 2008 U.S. Open when he played on a broken leg and torn ACL, via Golfweek.
Woods, Charlie ready for PNC Championship
Woods and his 12-year-old son, Charlie, competed in the pro-am event at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando ahead of Saturday’s opening round at the PNC Championship.
That, though still not a full solo round, was the closest Woods has been to competing normally since his accident.
“It was an awesome day,” Woods said, via the PGA Tour. “It was just awesome to be back out here playing and being out there with my son, and we just had an absolute blast.”
Woods and Charlie are among countless stars in the golf world playing this weekend. The field is made up each year of 20 former major champions and a family member of their choice. Woods and Charlie, who finished seventh in 2020, will be paired with Justin Thomas and his dad. Lee Trevino, Nick Faldo, Gary Player, and Tom Watson are among other big names in the field.
"This is a different event. This is a fun event," Woods said, via Golfweek. "You know, you get guys that are in their 80s out here playing and if they didn't have carts, we wouldn't be able to see the likes of Lee Trevino and Gary Player out here … But you wouldn't see a lot of – some of the legends that I grew up idolizing and watching, and even got a chance to play early in my career, they wouldn't be able to play in these events. Their bodies are too banged up.
"But to be able to play with their child in this event, having a cart allows them to do that. And we're out here having a great time, and that's what it's all about. It's about bonding and having the time of our lives."