Tiger Woods targets October comeback following knee surgery

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Tiger Woods.

Tiger Woods has announced he has undergone surgery on his left knee to repair cartilage damage.

Woods had the operation last week, shortly after he finished tied for 37th place in the final round of the BMW Championship in Medinah, Illinois.

“I expect Tiger to make a full recovery,” said Dr Vern Cooley, who performed the surgery. “We did what was needed, and also examined the entire knee. There were no additional problems.”

Woods said he plans to resume golfing activities shortly and will next play at the Zozo Championship in Narashino, Japan in late October.

“I would like to thank Dr Cooley and his team,” Woods said. “I’m walking now and hope to resume practice in the next few weeks.

“I look forward to travelling and playing in Japan in October.”

Woods ended the tournament in Medinah frustrated, but did not report any pain in his comments after the final round, instead saying he needed “to get a little bit stronger in certain body parts, activate different areas”.

The 43-year-old, who has dealt with a myriad of injury issues over recent years, claimed his 15th career Major title – and first in 11 years – in April this year with victory in the Masters.

It was only his second tournament victory since 2013 following on from the Tour Championship last September. After the inaugural Zozo Championship, Woods is due to play in his Hero World Challenge before making his debut as captain of the US Presidents Cup team in Melbourne, Australia.

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Tiger Woods to compete in back-to-back events for just the second time this season

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Tiger Woods will compete in back-to-back events for just the second time this season after committing to the first two FedEx Cup play-off events.

Woods wrote on social media that he will play the Northern Trust at Liberty National in New Jersey and the following week’s BMW Championship at Medinah in Illinois.

The Masters champion could then make it three weeks in a row if he qualifies for the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta, which he won last year for his first victory since 2013.

Woods is currently 27th in the standings and needs to remain inside the top 30 to be eligible to play at East Lake. The 43-year-old has played only four tournaments, three of them majors, since his emotional 15th major victory at the Masters in April.

Before missing the cut in the Open earlier this month, Woods admitted he had been drained by his win at Augusta National and was forced to play a limited schedule.

“Getting myself into position to win the Masters, it took a lot out of me,” Woods, who has had four knee operations and four back surgeries during his illustrious career, said at Royal Portrush.

“I want to play here as long as I possibly can and you have to understand if I play a lot, I won’t be out here that long.”

The only other time in 2019 that Woods has played in consecutive events was when he followed a tie for 15th in the Genesis Open with a top 10 in the WGC-Mexico Championship in February.

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Tiger Woods accepts there will be ups and downs as Open hopes disappear

Carl Markham 19/07/2019
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Tiger Woods.

The consistency may have disappeared but the competitive edge remains for Tiger Woods. Frustrated at missing the cut at The Open, only the second time in his career he has done so at a major more than once in the same season, the former world number one remains defiant and determined, if somewhat pragmatic.

His famed powers of recovery are long gone. He knows it. His rivals know it. We know it. If he does not start well there is no coming back.

It was the case at Royal Portrush where an opening seven-over 78, battling his chronic back problems, did for his chances so that even an improved second-round 70 could not save him from a weekend off.

There is a train of thought that, with his physical health issues, the conditions an Open Championship throws up means he is unlikely to be in contention, unlike at the Masters where things are much more in his favour, as proved by his 15th major win in April.

Woods argues to the contrary, even if he accepts he is no longer the hero wearing the cloak of invincibility he did during 683 weeks as world number one in the first decade of the 21st century.

“It’s just a matter of being consistent. That’s one of the hardest things to accept as an older athlete is that you’re not going to be as consistent as you were at 23,” said Woods, who has had more back operations (four) than major triumphs (one) in the last decade.

“I’m going to have my hot weeks. I’m going to be there in contention with a chance to win – and I will win tournaments.

“But there are times when I’m just not going to be there and that wasn’t the case 20-some-odd years ago.

“I had a different body and I was able to be a little bit more consistent.”

On the flip side, winning one of four majors in the year, considering where Woods was not so long ago, now seems eminently acceptable.

And while a creaking 43-year-old body is probably giving him more problems than he will publicly admit, the competitive streak remains and he birdied the first from 30 feet to briefly hint at the prospect of a remarkable comeback.

Although the way he gingerly and slowly walked off the green told the real story.

As he warmed up he became more expansive, almost driving the 374-yard fifth and, after his second birdie of the day at the short sixth, he ripped a drive down the long seventh. More significantly it was dead centre.

Now he was purposefully striding off the tee to a background noise of howls and ‘Go Tiger’ shouts.

However, the utterances from Woods himself kept getting more desperate and informative as the hole played out with a trip into the gallery.

He knew his chances of salvaging anything were fading away and while the mind was willing the body was weak. But he keeps telling himself he can still do it and he will keep coming back – for now at least.

“I love just the stress of playing in a major,” he said.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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