Tiger Woods says he’ll never play full-time on the PGA Tour again, and he’s lucky he’ll be able to play at all.
Woods gave his first interview after the February car crash that left him with serious injuries to Golf Digest, and he revealed that immediately after the crash, questions were more about whether he’d keep all his limbs rather than when he’d be able to play golf again.
From Golf Digest
Woods suffered comminuted open fractures to both the tibia and the fibula in his right leg after losing control of his vehicle outside of Los Angeles on Feb. 23. He was rushed to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and subsequently transferred to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he spent three weeks and faced the possibility of amputation.
“There was a point in time when, I wouldn’t say it was 50/50, but it was damn near there if I was going to walk out of that hospital with one leg. Once I [kept it], I wanted to test and see if I still had my hands. So even in the hospital, I would have [girlfriend] Erica [Herman] and [friend] Rob [McNamara] throw me something. Throw me anything.”
Before his accident, Woods was in the midst of a comeback to the sport he’d dominated for a generation. Woods is still second to only Jack Nicklaus in the number of PGA major tournaments he’s won, with 15 to Nicklaus’ 18. But his win of the 2019 Masters tournament renewed hopes that Woods might still catch or even pass Nicklaus.
Instead, his car crash was just the latest in a line of injuries and scandals that derailed that push. In 2009, he stepped away from golf after a car crash in Florida that was followed by rumors that the crash was the result of an argument he had with then-wife Elin Nordegren.
Woods spent the next several years dealing with back problems that required five surgeries, the last of which was only a month before the latest car crash.
Despite his injuries and controversies, Woods never stopped being a cultural icon. He’s credited with popularizing the sport Among a generation of Black players and with keeping the PGA Tour in the spotlight, even when he wasn’t playing.