We’d barely had 24 hours to process Tiger Woods’ most explosive interview to date, and the 15-time major winner was back on the mic again exposing a series of fresh revelations at the Hero World Challenge.
Having already dished the dirt on everything from the world rankings to Greg Norman to playing at St Andrews again, Woods appeared as a guest on NBC’s Golf Channel during their coverage of his tournament in the Bahamas – and it’s safe to say Tiger’s as candid as he’s ever been ahead of his highly anticipated return.
Dropping banter and bombs left right and centre alongside Paul Azinger, here are the six biggest revelations during Tiger’s Golf Channel cameo.
We can try to pretend it’ll never happen as much as we want, but sooner rather than later, Woods will be retiring from professional golf. Just when that time will come still remains up in the air for now – even after the American was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis – but it seems the inevitable is certainly on his mind following his latest set-back…
“I realise myself I am not going to be a player for much longer. But I think it’s more important that we recognise the past and build a better future. How do you do that? Obviously us coming collectively together just like Jack [Nicklaus] and Arnold [Palmer] and Gary [Player] did back in the day. That’s what we are trying to do now. We are trying to leave the product better than what we came in here with.”
Mind games with Charlie
We’re now just two weeks away from everyone’s favourite golfer teeing up once again – Charlie Woods, that is. And as he and his dad prepare to take on a star-studded field at the PNC Championship, it seems Tiger is taking a page out of his own father’s book when it comes to mental preparation…
“It’s non-stop, non-stop. It’s trying to get him – if I can get into his head, that means someone else can get into his head. It’s going to get to a point where I can’t get into his head, and then no one else can get in there either. That’s what my dad believed. You’ve got to be willing to take it.”
Another homage to his business partner Rory McIlroy, Woods was again full of praise for the Northern Irishman and the part he’s played in the PGA Tour’s fight against LIV Golf. Here’s what he had to say this time when quizzed on McIlroy’s leading role…
“Rory had the toughest assignment of all because he had to keep playing. I wasn’t playing that much. He had to answer all these questions. We had all these meetings and conference calls together, and we were communicating, lockstep behind each other, but I wasn’t out front having to deal with questions from the media. He had to do it. And not only that he had to go play and win events, which he was able to do.”
‘The biggest challenge’
After sensationally calling for Norman to go – and receiving backlash from Sergio Garcia in the process – Woods then put his leadership hat back on again, rallying a call to his fellow PGA Tour players while explaining why he’s been so vocal against the breakaway league…
“There were less playing opportunities when I came out on Tour, less access than there is now. We need to keep doing that, we need to keep celebrating and keep enforcing that there are top players and recognise their ability to play around the world, to showcase their skills. And the best place to play is the PGA Tour. That’s where all the top players do play. And we all as players want to compete against one another and beat each other’s brains in. That’s the fun part about it. We just need to do that collectively together more often. How we do that is the biggest challenge of it all.”
Just when we thought we couldn’t get anymore excited for Tiger teeing up once again, the 15-time major winner then revealed he’s been going crazy low over the past few weeks…
“I was playing really well. Shot a couple 63 and 64s at home. It’s just a long haul and I can’t walk for too long.”
No to the knife
And finally, with everyone wondering just how severe Woods’ latest injury really is, the 46-year-old quickly put to bed any suggestion that he’ll be needing surgery, instead explaining that he’ll be going down the classic “stretch and relax” route. Whatever that means…
“You don’t want to go down the surgical route. Injections, surgical, or just stretch and relax, and I chose to stretch and relax. Get off your feet, which I have done and continue to do. Also sleep at night with a boot on; try to stretch it out.”
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