Tiger Woods says he knows how to deal with age ahead of today's PGA Tour event at Pebble Beach
When Tiger Woods was starting out on the PGA Tour he thought playing hurt was just part of what it took to become a successful golfer. "I think when we are younger we feel more bullet proof, or invulnerable, because we heal so much faster," Woods said on Tuesday.Pic/Getty Images
The 36-year-old Woods says he now understands the difference between rehabilitating an injury properly and rushing back to competition. On top that he has had to learn to balance his rehab with a strict training regimen that has helped propel him to 14 major championships.
"The more we age, the more time we need to heal," Woods said. "I understand training way better now than I did before. Wearing myself out for no reason at all -- which we all did when we were younger. I have to train smarter, practice smarter.
"I have proven to myself I can play hurt as well as injured. But that is a double-edged sword because I can go out there and play like I did at the 2008 (US) Open and not feel my best and still win a golf tournament."
"So where is the line of demarcation between injury and pain? That is what I have always struggled with in the past because I don't know where the line is, because I can be successful either way."
Woods makes his 2012 US PGA Tour debut starting Thursday at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am which is also the same venue where he posted one of his most dominant major championship wins at the 2000 US Open.
It is also his first appearance at Pebble Beach since tying for 12th in 2002. "My body's feeling explosive again and consequently I am hitting the ball further," said Woods, who shared third place two weeks ago in his only other start of the year in Abu Dhabi.