Tiger Woods is working to return to the golf course after a serious car crash threatened to end his career, but he knows that if he does make a comeback, things won’t be the same.
“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,” Woods told Golf Digest in his first interview since the February accident. “Pick and choose a few events a year and you play around that.
“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.”
Woods, 45, began teasing his return earlier in this month when he shared a brief video on social media that showed him hitting balls on a range. He last competed in the 2020 Masters, three months before a single-car crash caused serious leg injuries. Woods told Golf Digest that there were times he feared he’d leave the hospital with only one leg.
Taking inspiration from Hogan makes sense, considering the legendary golfer also suffered injuries in a serious car accident that altered his career. Hogan fractured his pelvis, collarbone and ankle in a collision with a bus in 1949 and didn’t compete again until 1950.
While Hogan continued to play until his 1971 retirement, he chose events carefully, and his schedule got lighter late in his career.
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Related slideshow: Tiger’s most famous Masters moments (Provided by Yardbarker)
Tiger’s most famous Masters moments
Tiger Woods miraculously won his fifth Masters Tournament in 2019, overcoming years of injuries and personal issues contributing to a downturn in his play.Here’s a look at some of his most famous moments at the Masters over the years.
1995: Masters debut
Still an amateur at Stanford, the much acclaimed Woods made his Masters debut in 1995. At age 19, Tiger shot five over and finished tied for 41st place.
1997: First-round shot on 12
Woods established his dominance in the 1997 Masters early and made an incredible birdie at the 12th green in the first round. The chip shot helped him build momentum for a record-breaking win.
1997: Woods displays the pitching wedge at 15
Tiger had his full game on display in the first round of the 1997 Masters, breaking out his pitching wedge to put the ball just a few feet from the hole. That set up an eagle putt, as he shot 30 on the back-nine on the tournament’s first day.
1997: Tiger becomes youngest ever Masters winner
The 21-year-old Woods had incredible hype after turning pro in 1996, and he finally showed he was for real with his brilliant performance at the Masters. He won his first major by an incredible 12 strokes in 1997, shattering the the 72-hole course record in the process.
1997: Father and son share emotional win
Woods’ father, Earl, taught Tiger the game at an early age, and their emotional hug at the end of the 18th hole in 1997 is one of the most memorable in golf history.
2001: Tiger gets the ball on the green at the 8th hole
In somewhat of a struggle heading into the second round of the Masters in 2001, Tiger had a tough shot 253 yards from the hole at 8. He two-putt birdied the hole after the outstanding shot.
2001: Tiger establishes lead at 11th hole
Woods had a tough shot from 145 yards at No. 11 in the final round of the Masters while battling David Duval for the lead. His incredible shot allowed him to tap in for birdie en route to his second Masters victory.
2001: Woods wins second Masters, completes the Tiger slam
Four years after winning his first Masters Tournament, Woods claimed his second win. In doing so, he won four consecutive majors after also winning the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship in 2000.
2002: Second consecutive Masters win
Woods had a great third round and held off Retief Goosen to win his third Masters Tournament by three strokes at -12 — taking home the green jacket for a second straight year.
2005: Incredible chip shot at 16
Perhaps the most memorable shot of Tiger’s career came at the 16th hole in the final round of the 2005 Masters. Trying to hold off Chris DiMarco, Woods hit his tee shot off the green 20 feet away from the hole. He proceeded to make a chip shot for the ages, eventually forcing a playoff and winning his fourth Masters.
2005: Woods celebrates after winning the playoff
It was another triumphant fist pump for Woods when he won the playoff over Chris DiMarco to win his fourth Masters Tournament. Woods made a 15-foot birdie putt to win.
2007: Woods finishes tied for second place
Tiger entered the final day of the Masters in 2007 tied for second place and just one shot back of Stuart Appleby at +2. The final round was difficult for the field, with Woods shooting +1 to finish tied for second place. Zach Johnson won after shooting -3 in the final round, finishing at +1, two shots ahead of Woods.
2008: Tiger finishes second again
Woods entered the final day of the Masters in fifth place, six shots behind leader Trevor Immelman. During the final round, while most golfers slid and only four golfers finished under par, Woods was even. While he finished second overall at -5, Woods was three shots back of Immelman. Two days after the Masters, he had arthroscopic surgery on his knee.
2010: Tiger returns from his personal scandal
Late in November 2009, Woods crashed his car into a fire hydrant in what was rumored to be the aftermath of a domestic issue. Over the next four months he disappeared from the golf world, apologized for his infidelity and finally returned to compete in the 2010 Masters. He managed to finish tied for fourth place in the tournament.
2012: An ugly showing
The entire 2012 Masters was likely just as painful to watch as it was for Tiger to play. Through the weekend, Woods struggled on the golf course and showed his frustration, finishing tied for 40th.
2013: Woods makes an illegal drop
The 2013 Masters featured one moment Tiger would like to forget. After a shot that landed in the pond on 15, Woods made an illegal drop and was later assessed a two-stroke penalty.
2019: Tiger wins his fifth Green Jacket
Woods did the improbable in 2019, winning the Masters after shooting -13 for the tournament. It was his fifth Masters win and first since 2005.Internet Explorer Channel Network