Tiger Woods is good at golf again. Like, really good at golf again. Woods is currently No. 7 on the PGA Tour in strokes gained overall, the best determinant of the overall best golfers in a season. That's remarkable because he's 42 years old, but it's also remarkable seeing he has endured four back surgeries, the latest a fusion of his spine 11 months ago.
Woods told ESPN's Marty Smith recently that during one six-month period in the last few years, he couldn't even physically remain upright. And now he's swinging faster than anyone on the PGA Tour. The transformation has been absolutely remarkable.
"The low periods were for the better part of four to six months I had to be helped out of bed every day," said Woods. "There were some days where you'd help me, and I couldn't stand up. I'd have to just fall to the floor or just stay in bed.
"Coming back and playing golf was never in my thoughts. It was just, 'how do I get away from this pain? How can I live life again?' That was driving my life. I felt like I couldn't participate in my own life."
This is not necessarily anything we haven't heard from Woods before, but it is pretty fascinating in light of how this season has gone. Woods said that golf wasn't even in his thoughts not that long ago, and now he's the favorite for the 2018 Masters. I hope he's sent his doctor cases and cases of fancy, expensive wine.
Tiger Woods: club head speed measured at 129.2 MPH on 14th hole (fastest swing recorded by any player on PGA Tour this season).— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) March 10, 2018
The conversation with Woods ended poignantly, and it wasn't about golf. Tiger reiterated that his health wasn't a sticking point because of more wins or majors, rather for his own personal well-being and for the sake of his kids. It's pretty cool to hear Tiger talk about his life outside of golf more openly.
"I do anything and everything I possibly can to help them and guide them and teach them," Woods said.
"Golf has taken a back seat to any of that. My health has been the No. 1 thing that's guided me toward where I'm at because I wanted to be healthy for my kids. I couldn't play with them anymore. It really sucked to not be able to play soccer with them, not throw a ball around, lay on the floor and play LEGOs ... I just couldn't do it because my back was so bad."