Earlier this week, Tiger Woods did his best to temper expectations about his return to professional golf.
The 15-time major champion, who’s recovering from major leg surgery following his February car crash, shared that he’s unsure of when he’ll be back on the PGA Tour and what level he’ll be at when he does feel ready to play.
“As far as playing at the PGA Tour level, I don’t know when that’s going to happen,” Woods said at his tournament, the Hero World Challenge, on Monday. “I’m able to participate in the sport of golf. To what level, I do not know yet.”
However, a video of the 45-year-old on the driving range posted by the PGA Tour Twitter account on Wednesday night sent the gold world into a frenzy.
At the 2021 Hero World Challenge in The Bahamas, Woods was getting a little bit of light work in. He took a number of full swings with a fairway wood and look comfortable while doing so.
Full swing Woods. pic.twitter.com/oTAoL7eeCa
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) December 2, 2021
It’s the second time that a video of Woods taking full swings has appeared on social media in the last two weeks, but this go-around golf fans and media members couldn’t contain their excitement.
“The more I watch this, the more I think he’s just been setting expectations low so he can recover at his own pace. Under promise, over deliver. Pro moves only,” Rapaport wrote on Twitter Thursday night.
The more I watch this, the more I think he’s just been setting expectations low so he can recover at his own pace.
Under promise, over deliver. Pro moves only. https://t.co/LFmrfbgpS8
— Dan Rapaport (@Daniel_Rapaport) December 2, 2021
Rapaport wasn’t the only one to weigh in on the video. A number of other reporters and fans took to social media to give their thoughts on the latest development in Woods’ recovery.
Tiger may not be ready for Tour-level golf again, but 99.99% of golfers would take this swing in a heartbeat https://t.co/hWV5hLllFk
— Ryan Ballengee (@RyanBallengee) December 2, 2021
This is all I wanted for Christmas. https://t.co/ZkU34ewkSW
— Jimmy Hanlin (@JimmyHanlin) December 2, 2021
Jim Herman won the Wyndham Classic at 43 years old.
This smooth swinging, jacked version of Tiger Woods is only 2 years old than that. https://t.co/77m87Nr5HM
— PGA Tout (@PGATout) December 2, 2021
Tiger hitting the range and swinging a club again is amazing. Doesn’t matter if he competes at a high level again. But we know he will. https://t.co/G8fRE13bsf
— Jordan Ramirez (@JRAM) December 2, 2021
He’s running https://t.co/SrjCvWxbOy
— Bunkie Perkins (@BunkiePerkins) December 2, 2021
Although the video is undoubtedly an exciting development, Woods still seems hesitant to say that he’ll be back at full strength when he does return to the PGA Tour.
“I don’t have to compete and play against the best players in the world to have a great life. After my back fusion, I had to climb Mt. Everest one more time. I had to do it, and I did. This time around, I don’t think I’ll have the body to climb Mt. Everest and that’s OK,” Woods said from his South Florida home during a Zoom interview with Henni Koyack of Golf Digest. “I can still participate in the game of golf. I can still, if my leg gets OK, I can still click off a tournament here or there. But as far as climbing the mountain again and getting all the way to the top, I don’t think that’s a realistic expectation of me.”
Nevertheless, the golf world will surely be happy to get Woods back in the mix in any capacity.
Time will tell exactly when he will make his triumphant return to competitive golf.