by Jeff Skinner
Tiger Woods is back on the course but don’t look for him to play in competition any time soon. Tiger’s agent, Mark Steinberg spoke to ESPN’s Bob Harig on Wednesday and said Woods’ recovery is going well and he is putting a doing a bit of “light” chipping already.
Steinberg expects him to return to competitive play this summer: “He’s doing a little bit more and more each day,” Steinberg told ESPN.com. “He’s getting to the point of light chipping and putting and the doctors and trainers seem to be pleased with where he is. He is on schedule but we don’t know what that schedule means. I don’t know when he intends to be playing competitively.
“But I expect it to be this summer. I know that’s a wide range, but as the weeks go by we’ll be able to pinpoint an approximate time. It’s still a little early for that. Nothing that has gone on from the day of the surgery until today gives me any pause to amend what I said then. I know that’s broad and vague but we can’t pinpoint a specific time until we’re further along.”
Woods was last on a PGA Tour course at the Honda Classic when he withdrew due to severe back pain. He had microdisectomy surgery on March 31st and speculation on his return has gone from six weeks to one year. Steinberg seems to feel Tiger will be back sooner rather than later but he did say there is no specific target date.
I’ll assume that the U.S. Open date of June 12 would be too soon but if Steinberg’s estimate of “summer” is accurate that would bring the Open Championship and the PGA Championship into play. If he tees it up at The Open it would be over five years and 22 majors since his last major win at the ’08 U.S. Open.