10 months after nearly losing his leg in a single-car accident and suffering “significant orthopedic injuries,” Tiger Woods has announced that he’ll be making his return to golf next weekend at the parent-child PNC Championship in Orlando, per Yahoo Sports.
“Although it’s been a long and challenging year, I am very excited to close it out by competing in the @PNCChampionship with my son Charlie,” he tweeted on Wednesday. “I’m playing as a Dad and couldn’t be more excited and proud.”
In February, the possibility of the 15-time major champion ever swinging a 9-iron again seemed remote, as news of his devastating car accident began to circulate. As we reported at The Root, the car Woods was driving flipped over several times, and there were serious concerns that the 45-year-old would have to have his right leg amputated.
“Mr. Woods suffered significant orthopedic injuries to his right lower extremity that were treated during emergency surgery by orthopedic trauma specialists at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center,” Anish Majajan, Chief Medical Officer & Interim CEO at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, said in a statement at the time. “Comminuted open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones were stabilized by inserting a rod into the tibia. Additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle were stabilized with a combination of screws and pins. Trauma to the muscle and soft-tissue of the leg required surgical release of the covering of the muscle to relieve pressure due to swelling.”
In October, we reported on his “remarkable recovery” as he continues to recuperate from the accident, and in November, we finally heard from the man himself when he conducted his first interview since that fateful day.
“I think something that is realistic is playing the tour one day—never full time, ever again—but pick and choose, just like Mr. [Ben] Hogan did. Pick and choose a few events a year and you play around that,” Woods told Golf Digest’s Henni Koyack. “You practice around that, and you gear yourself up for that. I think that’s how I’m going to have to play it from now on. It’s an unfortunate reality, but it’s my reality. And I understand it, and I accept it.”
Yahoo Sports notes that at last year’s PNC Championship, Team Woods finished in seventh place and five strokes off the lead of 2017 PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas and his father. One of the reasons that this 36-hole tournament is ideal for Woods’ return is that he’d be allowed to use a cart, and the alternating-shot format would allow 12-year-old Charlie to offset some of the physical strain while Woods continues to recover from his injuries.
The PNC Championship takes place Dec. 18-19, and it will amazing to see one of the all-time greats make his triumphant return to the green.