Sports, Golf

Tiger encouraged for comeback after knocking off the rust

By Reuters
Published : 19 Dec 2023 09:13 PM

Tiger Woods believes he can still win on the PGA Tour and was full of appreciation after he and son Charlie carded a final round 61 at the PNC Championship in Orlando on Sunday.

With Tiger's 16-year-old daughter Sam caddying, the pair shot a sparkling second round 11-under to finish tied for fifth at the event formerly known as the Father/Son Challenge.

“To have both my kids out there the last two days has been so special,” Woods told reporters. “Just grateful for us to be able to have these types of experiences.”

Charlie, 14, did an emphatic fist pump reminiscent of his father after chipping in for birdie on the ninth as a beaming Tiger looked on with a broad smile across his face.

Woods said his surgically repaired right ankle continues to hold up well and that he recovered quickly after the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas earlier this month.

“A lot of things are aching a lot more than my ankle, which is the way it goes,” said Woods, who turns 48 next week.

“We’ve been working out hard, been able to recover. We've been training every day, which is great.

"It's been nice to knock off a lot of the rust and some of the doubt that I've had because quite frankly I haven't hit a shot that counted in a long time."

The Hero World Challenge was the former world number one's first event since withdrawing during the Masters in April to have his ankle fused.

The 15-time major champion has kept a limited competition schedule after a 2021 car crash left him with a serious leg injury and has said the plan for 2024 was to compete in one tournament a month.

Woods, who was able to use a cart at the PNC but will not have that luxury on the PGA Tour, said he still had the shot-making skills to win and it is now a question of endurance and consistency.

"I know I can still do it," Woods said. "I can still hit the golf ball. I can still chip. I can still put.

"Granted it's also putting it all together for 72 holes. That's the challenging part of it."