A fun, family-filled weekend kicks off at the 2022 PNC Championship with Tiger Woods and his son, Charlie, capturing most of the headlines. While younger Woods' swing has taken social media by storm, it is the status and health of the elder one -- the one who has taken social media by storm since its inception -- that remains on the minds of most.
"I can practice. I just can't walk," Woods said, echoing his comments from the Hero World Challenge. "So when you're dealing with the plantar [fasciitis] like this, it's one of these things where I need rest, and I haven't exactly been doing that."
Developing plantar fasciitis in his right foot, Woods was forced to withdraw from the Hero World Challenge -- the event he hosts annually -- at the beginning of December. Despite this foot injury accompanying a recovering leg and five prior back surgeries, the 82-time winner competed in The Match 7 with Rory McIlroy against Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, and will hit the course again at this week's PNC Championship.
"It's been a lot harder than people probably imagine," Woods said of his road to recovery. "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. And I have. And through work ethic, I was able to, as I said, play and compete in three major championships this year.
"And this offseason hasn't really been an off season. I've kind of ramped things up. But after this, come Monday, we shut it all down and take care of this foot so that I can ramp up properly. As you've seen, I can hit golf balls. I can do all that. I can practice at home. I can hit shots around the green. I can do all that. I just can't get from point A to point B."
Watching the 🐐 and his son Charlie 🐯 pic.twitter.com/5u1tSmOJ1Z— andre ⚡️ (@andrehaykaljr) December 16, 2022
With plans to get off his feet following the conclusion of the PNC Championship, one can't help but wonder what Woods' future playing schedule may look like. Playing only nine competitive rounds during the 2021-22 PGA Tour season -- four at The Masters, three at the PGA Championship and two at The Open -- the 15-time major champion was rarely seen, an oddity golf fans will have to get used to.
Conventional wisdom suggests Woods potentially teeing it up in February at the Genesis Invitational, and maybe even The Players Championship in early March if the body is up for it. If not, all sights remain on Augusta National for The Masters in April in what would be the first of four major championship appearances in 2023.
Perhaps that'll be it for Woods and five tournaments will be the max. Perhaps not. There are other events, including The Memorial, squarely between the PGA Championship and U.S. Open, which make sense but only time will tell as more information about his health, stamina and endurance come to light.
What is for certain is the recently developed plantar fasciitis is doing Woods no favors. Stripping him of an opportunity to play alongside 19 of the best players in the world in The Bahamas, it has also brought a sense of precariousness to his recovery timeline.
"No, not yet," Woods said of knowing his future schedule. "Because if I didn't have the plantar feeling like this, then, yes, I could tell you that and I'd have a better idea. But I'm supposed to be resting this thing and stretching and letting it heal. But I'm not doing that at the moment."
Instead, Woods is playing alongside his son as the two attempt to improve on their runner-up performance from a year ago. With the potential for new injuries or aggravation of old ones lingering, the soon-to-be 47-year-old Woods sees the bigger picture, and if some additional soreness is the price he has to pay for a couple rounds with his son, then so be it.
"I don't really care about that [a potential setback]," said Woods. "I think 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."