Fifteen-times major winner Tiger Woods said he did not care whether competing in this weekend’s PNC Championship would set back his recovery from injury, so long as it means he can compete alongside his son Charlie.
Woods withdrew ahead of this month’s Hero World Challenge after developing plantar fasciitis and told reporters on Friday at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida, that progress was slow.
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“I can practice. I just can’t walk,” said Woods.
“It’s just one of those things where I need rest and I haven’t exactly been doing that.”
While he conceded that the injury could impact his plans for 2023, he insisted that competing alongside his 13-year-old son was his top priority – even if it means he may spend more time recovering later.
“I don’t really care about that,” said Woods.
“Being there with and alongside my son is far more important, and get to have a chance to have this experience with him is far better than my foot being a little creaky.”
The pair finished second in the 36-hole tournament a year ago to twice major winner John Daly and his son, John Daly II, in what was Woods’ first competitive golf just 10 months after a devastating car accident that nearly cost him his leg.
He produced a comeback for the ages when he made the cut at the Masters just months later, an extraordinary achievement despite finishing near the bottom of the leaderboard.
“It’s been a lot harder than people probably imagine,” said Woods, who struggled at the British Open before missing the cut in July.
“There’s some of the players who are very close to me know what I’ve kind of gone through, and they’re the ones that keep encouraging me to back off a little bit.
“But that’s not really in my nature. My nature is trying to get better.”
The sight of Charlie on the course at Friday’s pro-am dazzled fans, who could not help but notice the uncanny similarities between father and son, from swing to mannerisms.
Even Tiger had to admit sometimes he feels as though he is “talking to a mirror” when he tries to offer his son lessons on golf – or life: “My little smart comments come right back at me now.
“Whether it’s at home or it’s couple years ago in our first competitive environment,” said Woods, “those are memories and those are things that we still talk about.”