Tiger Woods appears to be on his way back to the course, even if its first steps are minor ones. Woods was involved in a February car crash back near Los Angeles that left the 15-time major winner with fractures in his lower leg and a long road to recovery. On Sunday, we saw the first concrete proof that Woods is making progress down that road and may, someday, be playing competitive golf again.
Tiger posted a 3-second video to social media that shows him taking a full swing while pivoting on his injured leg, which has been a sleeve since the cast was removed. Obviously, fans (and upcoming tournament host sites) were extremely excited to see Woods swinging the club just 271 days after his wreck.
Woods, of course, still has a ways to go until he can return to active competition. It’s one thing to swing the club a dozen or so times in practice. It’s quite another to play nine holes, a full round or four rounds of competitive golf where Tiger will not only need to swing the club but also to walk up and down hilly courses for several miles.
Making progress pic.twitter.com/sVQkxEHJmq
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) November 21, 2021
Longtime Woods friend and fellow PGA Tour star Justin Thomas provided his own update on Tiger’s potential comeback last week while appearing on the “No Laying Up” podcast. In short, Thomas believes Woods will only return if or when he can play at an elite level.
“I don’t know. I know that he’s going to try,” Thomas said. “I don’t see him ever playing if he can’t play well. He doesn’t strike me as a guy that’s played at home and is shooting a bunch of 75s and 76s and he’s like, ‘All right, I’m gonna go give Augusta a try this year.’ That’s just not really gonna be him.
“I think he knows that there’s a pretty good chance [his previous comeback] might be the last chance he really ever had … of kinda making another run. But at the same time, I know how determined he is. I know he’s gonna want to at least try to give something again. Obviously, I hope he does. Like I said after the accident, as long as he can be a dad and be normal with that again, that’s the No. 1 priority and the rest is a bonus.”
Woods has not made many public appearances since the February car accident, but the golf world continues to hang on his every movement and social media post. Tiger has spent his last nine months with his family while rehabilitating. He’s also had plenty of friends over, Thomas included as well as Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler, to visit and perhaps hit a few balls.
Woods’ foundation puts on the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas from Dec. 2 through Dec. 5, where Thomas and McIlroy will be in the field alongside Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Collin Morikawa among others. It is unknown if Tiger will speak to the media at that time, but even during some of his heavier injury years, he often held court at that event. That is the most likely spot for him to say anything publicly for the first time since his accident.
The Masters starts in less than 137 days.
This story was originally published by CBS Sports on Nov. 21, 2021.