If he gets his way, the player who has defined golf for a generation will be back playing tournament golf in five weeks.
After more than 400 days away from competitive golf Tiger Woods conveyed via his website on Wednesday that he has targeted several events later this Fall as ones he hopes to play in.
It is a cautious schedule with just a few events listed for each of the final months of the year.
The official PGA TOUR “comeback” is planned for the Safeway Open, Oct. 13-16, at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, California but he also plans to warm up by playing in the Tiger Woods Invitational presented by USLI, Oct. 10-11, on the Monterey Peninsula.
That will be just a couple weeks after he serves as a Vice-Captain for the United States Ryder Cup team at Hazeltine National GC in Minnesota on September 30 to October 2.
The 79-time PGA TOUR winner stated that he also plans to compete in the Turkish Airlines Open, Nov. 3-6, in Antalya, Turkey, and the Tiger Woods Foundation-run Hero World Challenge, Dec. 1-4, at Albany in the Bahamas.
While the plans are laid out, they are only an intention this point, as Woods says there is still roadblocks ahead that could prevent his participation.
“My rehabilitation is to the point where I’m comfortable making plans, but I still have work to do,” Tiger said. “Whether I can play depends on my continued progress and recovery. My hope is to have my game ready to go.
“I’m looking forward to going to California for my foundation event and Safeway. I’m also excited to return to Turkey and Albany. It could be a fun fall.”
Many avid golf fans have missed the presence of the 14-time major winner but clearly his life has also been a little emptier without competitive golf on his calendar.
“It was difficult missing tournaments that are important to me, but this time I was smart about my recovery and didn’t rush it. It was great spending time with my children Sam and Charlie, and also working on a lot of projects including golf-course design, the upcoming 20th anniversary of my foundation and my book about the 1997 Masters. But I missed competing. I want to thank all the fans for their kindness and concern. I’ve been a pro about 20 years, and their support has never waned.”
Now the question, for some, becomes just what kind of abilities 40 year-old Tiger will carry with him after having three back procedures over the last few years.
Is he ready? Mentally and physically? And just what level are his skills at given the limited practice schedule he has endured? Can he be competitive?
We’re just over a month away from getting those answers from the player currently ranked 711th in the world.