Tiger Woods said ‘everything’ hurt after his opening round at the Hero World Challenge. Speaking to reporters after Thursday’s round, the 47-year-old said, in no uncertain terms, that his body is feeling the effects of not having played professional golf in more than half a year.
“As I said earlier this week, I was going to have to have this ankle either replaced or fused at some point and it just wore out,” Woods said. I was dealing with bone on bone for a number of months and tournaments playing so I don’t have to worry about that anymore.”
When pressed by a reporter to know specifically where the golf legend felt the most sore, Woods replied in a way only he can. “Everywhere,” Woods said, with a very slight smile creeping across his face.
The reporter asked a follow-up to see if he could get a more in-depth answer, to which Woods responded: “My leg, my back, my neck. Just from playing, hitting shots and trying to hold off shots. It’s just different at game speed too. Game speed is a lot different than ‘at-home’ speed.”
Woods has a bit of ground to make up, despite the Hero World Challenge having just begun. Heading into Round 2, Woods is sitting in 18th – among 20 golfers – at +3 and shooting 75, ahead of only Wyndham Clark and Will Zalatoris at 19th and 20th.
Currently, Brian Harman and Tony Finau are tied for first at -5 and shooting 67. In Round 2, Woods will be facing off against Rickie Fowler, who is sitting one spot ahead of Woods on the leaderboard.
The golf legend had been on the shelf since April after withdrawing from the third round of The Masters and subsequently underwent a subtalar fusion on his right ankle.
Before the start of the Hero World Challenge, Woods even acknowledged that his form is not where he wants it to be and that he wanted to temper expectations, especially after sitting out of action for so long.
“My game feels very rusty, I haven’t played in a while,” Woods told reporters before the tournament teed off. “I’m not concerned about walking it [the course]. I don’t have any of that ankle pain. That’s all gone. But it’s the other part of my body. My knee hurts, my back. The force has got to go somewhere. I’m just as curious as you to see how this goes.”
Though Woods had not been competing for the last seven months, he had been spending time on the links, caddying for his son Charlie. The golf legend is targeting appearing in half a dozen tour events next season, including golf’s four majors.
With one day of competition in the books, it remains to be seen how Woods’ body will react to day two. Currently, the feeling of soreness is common among athletes getting back into the swing of things after an extended period of inactivity.
Though given Woods’ history as a competitor, he likely will try to play through any soreness or pain, until the pain becomes too great to bear, just like how it was during The Masters.