Tiger Woods may be the world’s number 172 right now, but his return to tournament golf after a short break is bound to attract plenty of attention at the Memorial tournament in Columbus, Ohio starting tomorrow.
Woods, who had issues after returning early in the season from back surgery, has played just four times this season. He missed a cut at one, withdrew from another, tied for 17th at the Masters tournament, then finished tied-69th at the Players Championship at Sawgrass.
He tees it up tomorrow with Australia’s Jason Day, who has his own physical issues, and fellow-American Patrick Reed. He said he was desperate to contend again. “I was there at Augusta with a chance, and I’d like to get there more often.’’
Woods said he took a break for “the height of our soccer season’’ after Sawgrass, a reference to his children Sam, 7, and Charlie, 6.
He told a media conference at Jack Nicklaus’ Muirfield Village that he had been working intensely with new swing coach Chris Como in recent weeks, as well as spending two days at Chambers Bay, the US Open venue later this month.
“I feel very good,’’ he said. “I feel very good about the changes we’ve made. We’ll just implement a couple of new things, it’s still evolving but it’s getting better, which is nice to see.’’
Woods entertained the media with some critique of his childrens’ sporting ability, in particular with some commentary on son Charlie’s golf swing. “He’s got some parts of his swing that I’m trying to do, and I can’t do! It’s frustrating at times…’’
Day has been battling illness recently, suffering dizziness that requires further testing. But he is playing this week since the tournament is played near his American home.
"I just lost all my energy and have had moments where I feel it from my feet all the way up my body, just the shakes and loss of strength through my hands and of course dizziness,’’ he said this week.
"At the end of the day we are doing everything we can to find an answer and from that hopefully we can move forward and get on top of it."
The other Australians in this week’s field are Marc Leishman, John Senden, Matt Jones, Cameron Smith, Steven Bowditch and Greg Chalmers.