Can Tiger Woods roar in the Challenge of his sporting life?

Updated: Dec 05, 2016, 11:42 IST | V Krishnaswamy

There is no doubt in Tiger Woods’ mind that he wants to play the game for way longer than he has and now more than ever he wants to do things to extend his career

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods

Albany: There is no doubt in Tiger Woods’ mind that he wants to play the game for way longer than he has and now more than ever he wants to do things to extend his career. A year ago there were no guarantee whether he would even swing a club at a competitive round again.

A Tiger on the prowl
But now he is looking fresh, fit and happier than he has been in a long time. Those who have seen him at some of his intense practice sessions are convinced he will do well. He is more open than he has been all his career; sought out friends from within golf and other sports to see what he needs to do to get back to what he wants to best — that is play golf and win.

After pulling out of Safeway Championships in September he penciled out Hero World Challenge for his comeback. What happened? Tiger said, "A few things happened. One, the Ryder Cup helped a lot in the sense that I got a chance to be out there with the guys and see it, feel it and experience it.

He added, "Two, it hurt me by not being able to practice for a week. We had the most perfect range, the most perfect putting green and we’re not allowed to hit balls as captains."

Tiger’s smart move
"So as hard as it was on me to take it off and pull out of the event (Safeway), it was a smart thing to do even though as a competitive athlete it killed me inside. I wanted to compete. I’ve played with less and I’ve won," he added.

Then he worked on his fitness. "I was riding my bike at home 30, 50 and 70 miles per week on these rides. That’s different than walking a golf course. I can walk on a treadmill for two to three hours. It’s not the same, putting on spikes and uneven lies.

Hard work pays off
"I come in, my ankles are sore, my feet are sore. This is different, and so I had to get used to that. Even Joey hadn’t been on a golf course in a while; he rides at home in a cart. He was saying I need to get in shape too, so we did it together, we did it as a team, and it was fun," said Woods.

That he knows the course at Albany well and has a home, too, helps. Now he also wants a reduced and shorter schedule but a longer career.

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