Tiger Woods could be set for Wells Fargo comeback

Phil Casey 23/04/2016
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Back in the game: Tiger Woods.

Tiger Woods could make his comeback to professional golf as early as next month’s Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow.

Reports in America claim the former world No. 1 is targeting a return in May at either Wells Fargo, which starts on May 5, or the Players Championship a week later.

Speculation is growing after Woods, who has not played since last August after undergoing multiple operations on his back, hit several shots off the tee and used his irons during a junior clinic he was hosting at Sage Valley in Georgia.

Several journalists saw him carrying his driver nearly 300 yards, however Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg maintains there is no change in his client’s status regarding a comeback.

Despite such optimism from outside the Tiger camp, his friend and basketball legend Michael Jordan believes Woods, now ranked No. 486, “wishes he could retire” and would do so if he won another major.

Woods claimed the last of his 14 major titles in 2008 and Jordan claims the 40-year-old is “tired” after a long career in the spotlight and told ESPN the Magazine: “I think he really wishes he could retire, but he doesn’t know how to do it yet, and I don’t think he wants to leave it where it is right now.

“If he could win a major and walk away, he would, I think.

“What does he do every day?” added Jordan, who struggled with his own retirement. “I haven’t the slightest idea. I do not know.”

According to the magazine, Woods has told his friend and former PGA Tour player Notah Begay that he knows his next comeback will be his last, while Jordan does not sound optimistic that it will be a success.

“The thing is, I love him so much that I can’t tell him, ‘You’re not going to be great again’,” Jordan said.

Jordan also revealed that the sex scandal surrounding Woods, which broke after he crashed his car into a fire hydrant and a tree in November 2009, “looms” in his mind.

“That bothers him more than anything,” Jordan said. “It looms. It’s in his mind. It’s a ship he can’t right and he’s never going to.

“What can you do? The thing is about T-Dub, he cannot erase. That’s what he really wants. He wants to erase the things that happened.”

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Woods 'wishes he could retire' says fellow sporting great and friend Jordan

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Sporting superstars Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods are close friends.

Woods has not played since August after undergoing three back operations in the space of 19 months and won the last of his 14 major titles in 2008.

The former world number one has reportedly been having lengthy practice sessions ahead of a possible return to action and was caught on camera hitting shots during a clinic at a junior event on Thursday.

But Jordan believes the 40-year-old is “tired” after a long career in the spotlight and told ESPN the Magazine:

“I think he really wishes he could retire, but he doesn’t know how to do it yet, and I don’t think he wants to leave it where it is right now.

“If he could win a major and walk away, he would, I think.”

According to the magazine, Woods has told his friend and former PGA Tour player Notah Begay that he “knows” his next comeback will be his last, while Jordan does not sound optimistic that it would be a success.

“The thing is, I love him so much that I can’t tell him, ‘You’re not gonna be great again,'” Jordan said.

Jordan also revealed that the sex scandal surrounding Woods, which broke after he crashed his car into a fire hydrant and a tree in November 2009, “looms” in the mind of the only player to hold all four major titles at once.

“That bothers him more than anything,” Jordan said. “It looms. It’s in his mind. It’s a ship he can’t right and he’s never going to.

“What can you do? The thing is about T-Dub, he cannot erase. That’s what he really wants. He wants to erase the things that happened.”

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South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen follows Adam Scott in snubbing Olympics

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Louis Oosthuizen is the latest big-name withdrawal from the Olympics.

In a statement issued by ISM, his British-based management company, 2010 British Open champion Oosthuizen, 33, said he had informed South Africa’s Olympic committee of his decision after “long deliberations citing family and schedule issues”.

“I have always represented South Africa with pride so I didn’t make my decision without a great deal of thought,” said Oosthuizen.

“I would like to wish our golfers and all other athletes competing in Brazil all the very best for success,” he added.

Australia’s Scott, who won the US Masters three years ago, made his announcement on Wednesday, saying:

“My decision has been taken as a result of an extremely busy playing schedule around the time of the Olympics and other commitments, both personal and professional.”

Scott’s decision provoked an angry response from Australian swimming great Dawn Fraser, a triple Olympic 100 metre freestyle gold medallist, who said: “Well done Adam great to put your country on hold so that you can fulfil your own schedule.”

But With golf already having four major tournaments annually — the Masters, British Open, US Open and US PGA — there are those who argue an Olympic gold medal is not the highest honour in the sport and, as such, it has no place in the Games.

This year the US PGA Championship has been moved forward and becomes July’s second major, two weeks after the British Open, in a packed 2016 golf calendar.

“Scott is not the only marquee name who doesn’t embrace the Olympic golf tournament being squeezed into a such a small window in July and August,” wrote Jim McCabe on golfweek.com.

“Don’t be surprised if you hear from another one or two.”

Another comment piece on the USA TODAY website was headlined: “Adam Scott just showed why golf shouldn’t be an Olympic sport.”

“An Olympic gold medal should be the highest honour there is to win in the chosen sport. Anything less devalues the entire competition. That’s not the case in golf,” the column read.

Last week, another former major champion, Fiji’s Vijay Singh, also announced he would skip the Olympics, citing concerns over an outbreak of the Zika virus in Brazil.

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