Tiger Woods insists he wants to return to professional golf after declaring he hadn’t “felt this good in years” following fusion surgery on his back.

Writing in a blog on his website, the 14-time major champion said he had experienced “instant nerve relief” following the operation just over a month ago.

Speaking of the decision to go under the knife, Woods wrote: “I could no longer live with the pain I had.

“We tried every possible non-surgical route and nothing worked. I had good days and bad days, but the pain was usually there, and I couldn’t do much. Even lying down hurt.

“I had nerve pain with anything I did and was at the end of my rope. The process leading up to my decision to have surgery was exhaustive. I consulted with a specialist, and after weighing my options, that’s when I decided to go to Texas to have surgery.”

Woods, who hasn’t teed it up since withdrawing after the first round of the Dubai Desert Classic at the start of February, cited the cases of Davis Love III, Retief Goosen and Lee Trevino as players who’d had major back surgery and made a successful return.

Tiger Woods

He also revealed he had weighed up whether to compete at Augusta, conceding that “the reality is I just couldn’t play”.

Declaring his long-term prognosis as positive, Woods added both his surgeon and physiotherapist said the operation was a success.

“It’s just a matter of not screwing up and letting it fuse. I’m walking and doing my exercises, and taking my kids to and from school. All I can do is take it day by day. There’s no hurry,” he said.

“But, I want to say unequivocally, I want to play professional golf again.

“Presently, I’m not looking ahead. I can’t twist for another two and a half to three months. Right now, my sole focus is rehab and doing what the doctors tell me. I am concentrating on short-term goals.”

He concluded: “There’s a long way to go, but as I said, words cannot convey how good it feels to be pain-free.”