Tiger Woods: ‘I was worn out mentally, physically, emotionally’

Posted at 4:23 AM, Nov 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-28 08:12:27-05

Tiger Woods has enjoyed quite the year.

The former world No. 1, who returned to action following a long period of career-threatening back injuries, completed an impressive comeback with an emotional victory at the season-ending Tour Championship.

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It was a position many, even Woods himself, thought he would never be in again.

His remarkable resurgence has once again made Woods the hottest property in golf, but he admits he wasn’t quite prepared to be playing so much late in the season and then competing in an eighth Ryder Cup.

“I was not physically prepared to play that much golf at the end of the year,” Woods told reporters ahead of his Hero World Challenge tournament, which begins in the Bahamas Thursday.

“It’s never been this hot at every single tournament, it was just stifling. It was hard for me to maintain my strength and my weight through all of that.

“I was exhausted by the time I got to the Ryder Cup. I was worn out mentally, physically, emotionally.”

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Woods, who had back fusion surgery in April 2017, began the year in promising fashion, finishing tied second in the Valspar Championship in March before briefly leading the Open in July and coming second behind Brooks Koepka in the US PGA in August.

He qualified for the WGC Invitational and the FedEx Cup end-of-season playoffs and played for seven out of nine weeks from early August.

His crowning moment was a two-shot victory at September’s Tour Championship for his 80th PGA Tour victory and first since 2013.

But he looked to be running on empty as he slumped to four losses in Team USA’s comprehensive Ryder Cup defeat in France a week later.

“I took a significant break after the Ryder Cup, got away from it for a bit,” Woods said. “My training sessions have been good. I’ve been getting a little bit stronger.

“My core and my legs are definitely stronger than they have been, which is a positive. Now I get started working on my game and getting that organized heading into next year.

“I haven’t really spent a lot of time doing that. I’ve been working more on getting my body ready to handle the rigors of long practice sessions again and getting back to that.”

Woods has so far only committed to play the Genesis Open at Riviera in February and the four majors in 2019.

The Hero World Challenge, which Woods hosts every year to benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation, features just 18 top-ranked golfers — this year boasting four of the world’s top five.