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ORLANDO, Fla. – If Tiger Woods is going to make it back to competing on the PGA Tour, it won’t be with the help of a golf cart.
Woods, who is competing this week at the PNC Championship, teaming with son Charlie in the 20-team two-person scramble format competition, shot down the idea that he would request a golf cart to allow him to resume his career after suffering fractures to both the tibia and fibula in his right leg from a car crash in February.
“No. I wouldn’t, no. No. Absolutely not. Not for a PGA Tour event, no,” he said. “That’s just not who I am. That’s not how I’ve always been, and if I can’t play at that level, I can’t play at that level.”
Woods reiterated that he is a long way from being able to play in a PGA Tour event. Stamina and endurance, in particular being able to walk 18 holes for four straight days on a leg he termed, “still messed up,” will be his biggest challenge if he is to make yet another comeback.
Tiger Woods lines up his putt on the ninth green as son Charlie Woods looks on during a pro-am round of the PNC Championship golf tournament at Grande Lakes Orlando Course. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports
Woods has long been a proponent that walking is a fundamental part of the competition and that letting a golfer ride would give them an advantage. When Casey Martin, who suffered from Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber Syndrome, a degenerative circulatory disorder that obstructed blood flow from his right leg back to his heart until it was amputated earlier this year, filed suit against the PGA Tour for not allowing him to use a golf cart, Woods sided against his college teammate.
“I’m gonna give him crap,” Martin told Sports Illustrated earlier this week. “I’m going to text him: ‘Hey, I’m pumped you’re playing, but I want some kickbacks if you take a cart.’ ”
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Woods also took a not-so-subtle jab at John Daly, who suffers from osteoarthritis in his right knee, when he requested to use a golf cart in the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black.
“As far as J.D. taking a cart, well, I walked with a broken leg, so…” said Woods, referring to when he won the 2008 U.S. Open on a broken leg and a torn ACL.
Woods will make an exception and use a cart this week at the PNC Championship.
“This is a different event. This is a fun event,” he said. “You know, you get guys that are in their 80s out here playing and if they didn’t have carts, we wouldn’t be able to see the likes of Lee Trevino and Gary Player out here – well, Gary’s different, never mind. He would probably be doing wind sprints on some of these holes and then doing push-ups and then, you know, a bunch of sit-ups on the greens and stuff.
Tiger Woods, right, drives in a cart to the first tee for Friday pro-am of the PNC Championship golf tournament Friday, Dec. 17, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. He is paired with his son Charlie during the tournament. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)
“But you wouldn’t see a lot of – some of the legends that I grew up idolizing and watching, and even got a chance to play early in my career, they wouldn’t be able to play in these events. Their bodies are too banged up.
“But to be able to play with their child in this event, having a cart allows them to do that. And we’re out here having a great time, and that’s what it’s all about. It’s about bonding and having the time of our lives.”