Tiger Woods continues his comeback from severe leg injuries next week PGA Championship after making a resounding return to last month’s Masters with a lot of curiosity about the state of his game.
The 15-time world champion trained last month in Southern Hills and enthusiastic fans are hoping he can improve his 47th place at Augusta Nationalwhere Woods called the 72-hole finish one of his greatest career successes.
“Some of the players that are close to me have seen it and they have seen some of the things that I have had to go through,” Woods said last month. “It has been a tough road and I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to be able to grind.
“I think it was positive and I have work to do and I can’t wait.”
Woods, a former world number one now ranked 804th, won the 2007 PGA championship in Southern hills and returns to the layout of Tulsa, Oklahoma, 15 months after a serious car accident that damaged his right leg so badly that he feared it might be amputated.
“To go from that to here, we’re excited about the prospects for the future, the training, getting into that gym and doing other things to strengthen my leg,” Woods said after his final round at the Masters last month.
“We’ll be back later.”
Woods, 46, fired a 63 in the second round in 2007 at Southern Hills as he headed for the title and returned a few weeks ago to see what changes a course revamp had made since walking a course for four days is become a great resistance test.
“It caused quite a buzz even before it landed,” Southern Hills golf director Cary Cozby told The Golf Channel. “He walked away from here looking like Elvis walking away from the stage.”
Southern Hills underwent a major renovation in 2019 with remodeled bunkers and many trees removed.
“He remembered the whole golf course, every club he hit seemed like it,” Cozby said. “He seemed to appreciate the changes.”
Augusta National offered one of the toughest walks of any season, but Southern Hills only has a couple of major climbs, what should be an easier test as Woods looks to the British Open at St Andrews in July.
“I have those days when I don’t want to do anything. It just hurts. Those days are tough, ”Woods admitted to Augusta.
“I just have to work on it. To get better, you just have to go out there and take the time. “
Woods had battled nagging back and knee injuries to win the 2019 Masters for his first big win in 11 years, only to face his final setback after a California car accident in February 2021.
Players and spectators cheered Woods, a member of the 2022 World Golf Hall of Fame, in his attempt to make a comeback at the Masters.
“We all have Tiger to thank for where the game is,” said four-time major winner Rory McIlroy.
“Tiger has left more of his mark on this game, I think, than basically anyone else in history. We should all be very lucky to be playing at a time when he was around because we all benefited from him. “