Tiger Woods practises in public at junior event
Hits full range of shots with every club in the bag, including the driver
Demonstration fuels speculation he could return in a few weeks
Has not played since August after back surgery
Is he, or isn’t he?
Speculation is mounting Tiger Woods is preparing for a return after he demonstrated the full range of shots during a junior clinic he was giving in South Carolina.
The former world No. 1 is recovering from multiple back surgeries and has not played since August, fuelling rumours his remarkable career was at an end.
But the public practice session has prompted suggestions the 14-time major champion could be targeting a return in two or three weeks, possibly at the prestigious Players Championship from May 12-15.
READ: 20 years of Tiger Woods – where it all went right, and wrong
Golf Channel pundit Tim Rosaforte wrote on Twitter: “Based on his progress it makes sense @TigerWoods comes back sooner than later. Indications point to @WellsFargoGolf-@THEPLAYERSChamp return.”
Woods’s agent Mark Steinberg was unavailable for comment when contacted by CNN.
The 40-year-old Woods missed the Masters at Augusta earlier this month, admitting he was still “not physically ready.”
“I’ve said all along that this time I need to be cautious and do what’s best for my long-term health and career,” Woods wrote on his official website.
He underwent his third back operation in 18 months in October, and admitted the following month there was no timeframe for his return to the sport, saying “Where is the light at the end of the tunnel.”
In February, Woods posted a video on social media of himself hitting a nine iron on an indoor golf simulator to scotch reports he was struggling to move and was in pain sitting down. “Progressing nicely,” he wrote.
Woods won his last major title in 2008 and remains five adrift of his long-stated goal of beating Jack Nicklaus’ major record.
But in an interview with ESPN published this week, basketball great Michael Jordan said his close friend Woods “wishes he could retire” and claimed the golfer would quit if he won one more major.
“The thing is, I love him so much that I can’t tell him, ‘You’re not gonna be great again,’” Jordan was quoted as saying.
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