Tiger Woods has finally admitted what many golf fans have been saying for years: he’s finished. Or, at least he might be.
Woods, 41, is outside Manhattan this week in Jersey City at Liberty National Golf Club where he’s serving as an assistant captain to the US Team at the Presidents Cup. Prior to play teeing off on Thursday, Woods took questions from the media, his first public appearance since his May DUI arrest.
He didn’t provide any insight on the incident, nor the subsequent rehab stint he underwent for prescription drugs. He did, however, talk about his future playing career.
“I don’t know what my future holds for me,” the 14-time major winner revealed. “Overall, I’m very optimistic how I’m progressing. But I don’t know what my golfing body is going to be like because I haven’t hit a golf shot yet.”
Woods appears to be working out and physically fit, a welcomed sign to his many remaining fans. And in Las Vegas, bettors still aren’t quite ready to throw in the towel on the golfing great.
Despite not playing in the last eight major championships, the Westgate SuperBook still has Woods at 100-1 to win the Masters in April. Those are the same odds as Jimmy Walker, who won the 2016 PGA Championship.
Jordan Spieth is the favorite at 7-1, followed by Dustin Johnson (9-1), Rory McIlroy (10-1), Jason Day (12-1), and Rickie Fowler (15-1).
Returning to Form
Woods’ last made cut in a major came at the 2015 Masters. He briefly returned to professional golf in late 2016 and early 2017, but withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic on February 2 and hasn’t hit another competitive shot since.
He underwent his fourth back surgery in April, and has been recuperating at his estate in Jupiter, Florida. Earlier this month, Woods shared video of himself hitting short pitch shots at his home practice facility.
He said at the time he’s looking forward to “living without the pain I have been battling so long.” Woods’ DUI toxicology report found no alcohol in his system, but a dangerous prescription medicine cocktail consisting of Vicodin, Dilaudid, Xanax, Ambien, and THC. He was found asleep at the wheel with his vehicle running.
Not out of the Woods
Woods was on pace to solidify his place in history as the greatest golfer to ever walk the planet until November 2009 when his marital infidelities came to light. Though few could have predicted the chain of events would derail his playing career, it’s resulted in an ongoing debate whether Jack Nicklaus’ resume still outranks Woods’.
He’s won 79 times on the PGA Tour, second only to Sam Snead, and his 14 majors are second to Nicklaus’ 18. Woods hasn’t won a golf tournament since 2013, and he’s nearly a decade removed from his last major victory, which came in 2008 at the US Open.
But at Paddy Power, Woods’ odds to win any major in 2018 are still just 30-1.