Tiger Woods has laid out a plan for the 2024 season, saying the best-case scenario for his return to golf is to potentially play one tournament a month.
Woods suggested a scenario in which he plays the Genesis Invitational in February and then finds a tournament for March before the majors begin in April.
“I have to prepare for all this. I think this week is a step in that direction,” he said Tuesday at a news conference at the Hero World Challenge, the golf tournament he hosts annually in the Bahamas. “I’m as curious as all of you to see what happens. … I haven’t plus the ankle pain I had at Augusta or before.”
Woods withdrew from the Masters on April 9 due to plantar fasciitis and underwent subsequent ankle surgery that month. His foot condition also forced him to withdraw from the 2022 Hero World Challenge.
The 15-time major champion said that while he has no pain in his ankle, his pain has moved to his knees and back. Despite this, Woods still “absolutely” believes he can win tournaments.
Woods, 47, will depart Tuesday’s Hero World Challenge practice round at 11:52 a.m. ET with Justin Thomas. The 23rd edition of the event begins Nov. 30 and features numerous PGA stars, including Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa and Scottie Scheffler.
Rumors that the PGA Tour is working to finalize a deal with the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund before the Dec. 31 deadline dominated Tuesday’s press conference. Woods said both sides are working together “without animosity.”
PGA Tour players were taken by surprise by the PGA’s June 6 master agreement with PIF, the owner of LIV Golf, to combine their business operations. PGA golfers were kept in the dark about the deal and later reportedly sent PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan a letter calling for an overhaul of the tour’s power structure.
In response to the player unrest, the tour added a sixth-place player director on the PGA Tour’s all-powerful policy committee in August: Woods.
When asked if he has confidence in Monahan after the master deal, Woods said, “I have confidence in Jay and what he can do in the future and what can’t happen again.”
Tiger Woods the board member
Woods seems unsure what professional golf will look like a year from now. He wasn’t necessarily confident a PGA Tour deal with PIF would happen by the deadline, and the most he provided in terms of contingencies was to say there were “other options” if a deal didn’t happen.
But the main point was how authoritative he was as a new board member clearly stating that players need more power in tour decision-making and how frustrated he was that Monahan had entered into the master agreement with PIF behind his back. Woods seems incredibly committed to his new role and is making sure to steer golf in the right direction, even if there is still a very murky road ahead. — Brody Miller, golf staff writer
Because he’s making another comeback
The most important detail on Tuesday is that Woods is not in pain. He hasn’t played much golf and has no idea how he’ll fare this week, but that part can be resolved in the next few months. The key for Woods is that he can caddy for his son Charlie and walk 90 holes in the next week without pain, something he hasn’t been able to say in years. When asked if he thinks he can still win events, he confidently replied, “Absolutely,” so you know the root is that he just wants to keep competing.
His saying that the hope is to play one tournament a month next season is jarring considering the horrific car accident he was in two years ago and the surgery he underwent this spring. No, Woods will never be the star he once was, but if he can stay healthy and play without pain, there will remain a future for Woods to play golf on the big stage. -Miller
(Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty)