Tiger Woods in race against time to be in shape for Masters
Speaking in an interview with CBS' Jim Nantz on Sunday as host of the Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles, the 15-time major winner revealed that he had been unable to put in much work since undergoing a fifth back surgery in December.
"I'm feeling fine, a little stiff," said Woods. "I've got one more MRI scheduled, and then I can start doing more activities.
“I'm still in the gym doing the mundane rehab activities before gravitating towards more."
Asked what he had done specifically in terms of golf, he added: “I have lengthened my putter (laughing). I’ve gone to the same length as my sand wedge.
“I do a lot of putting drills hitting the equator (of the ball) with my sand wedge and I figured, why don’t I lengthen my putter and do the same thing, and it has helped.”
Woods, who landed his fifth Masters win in 2019, underwent a microdiscectomy just before Chritsmas, having already required that procedure once in 2014 and twice in 2015.
He then had serious spinal fusion in April 2017, from which he returned less than a year later.
"God, I hope so,” he replied to being asked by Nantz if he thought he would be around for the final round of the Masters in early April.
“But I've got to get there first. A lot of it is based on my surgeons, my doctors, my therapists and making sure that I do it correctly as this is the only back I’ve got and I don't have much wiggle room left.”
The 45-year-old’s last event was in the PNC Championship in December alongside his son Charlie, but Woods said he was unable to commit to playing a tournament before the Masters.
"I don't know what the plan is," he said. "The plan right now is to get the MRI and see if the annulus has scarred over and sealed and start progressing."
LA man Max Homa won the Genesis Invitational, beating Tony Finau at the second extra hole in a play-off.
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