London – Tiger Woods accepts his glory days are over after a glittering career during which he dominated the game for a decade.
Woods, 38, won the last of his 14 major titles in 2008 but since then he has struggled with injuries and gone through the breakdown of his marriage in the full glare of global publicity.
Between 1997 and 2008 he blew away his rivals with a mixture of power and a single-mindedness they could not match.
However, the current crop on the PGA Tour are now hitting the ball further and Woods says he has to find other ways to win as he prepares to make his return from back surgery.
“I feel old,” he said on Tuesday. “The Chinese kid (Guan Tianlang) who qualified for the Masters last year (aged 14) was born after I won the tournament for the first time and that is just not cool.
“That is what is coming: the next generation are taller, bigger and more physical — these kids in college, all the long-hitters are 6ft 2in to 6ft 4in.
“The difference, as I have aged, is I can’t play the way I used to. I have to rely on different parts of my game like strategy and course management.
‘The old adage is “with age comes wisdom” and I have certainly become more patient. Especially having two little ones has definitely taught me a lot of patience, and it has carried on to the golf course.
Woods is ahead of schedule to return as he had targeted next month’s Open at Royal Liverpool, where he won the Claret Jug in 2008. But after a programme of physiotherapy and dietary changes he feels ready to come back earlier, although he admits had this week’s Quicken Loans National Tournament not benefited the Tiger Woods Foundation he would not be playing.
“I’ve not had the amount of prep I would like but I am good enough to play and I am going to give it a go.” – Daily Mail