Tiger Woods: ‘I don’t ever think I’ll feel great’

Tiger Woods appears willing to accept the reality of his new, 41-year-old normal.

Woods gave a very-candid-for-him interview to Peter Dawson, the former Chief Executive of the R&A, posted Tuesday. He spoke to Dawson while in Dubai. Woods withdrew from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic last week.

A 14-time major champion, Woods discussed the challenges he faced while fighting to get on the pro circuit after three back procedures.

“I feel good, not great,” Woods said. “Granted, I don’t ever think I’ll feel great, because it’s three back surgeries, four knee operations. I’m always going to be a little bit sore, that’s just the way it is. As long as I can function at a good enough level, I’m fine with that.”

Woods withdrew in Dubai due to what was termed a back spasm by his agent, Mark Steinberg. This came after shooting a birdie-free 77 in the first round. He missed the cut during his 2017 PGA Tour debut at Farmers Insurance Open in January.

“It was tough,” he said of his rehab stint, “it was more than brutal.”

There was “no update” on neither his injury or his status for the Genesis Open next week.

Woods again said his goal remains a successful return to the Masters in April.

“There have been plenty of times when I thought I would never play the game at the elite level,” he said. “You know playing once every three or four weeks that’s not going to cut it. There were a lot of times when I didn’t think I was going to make it back.”

Despite his recurring health issues and unstable play on the course, Woods remains resolute when it comes to his ultimate goal – winning.

“This is the changing of the guard. My generation is getting older, but if I’m teeing it up, the goal is to win it,” he said. “That doesn’t change whether I’m injured, coming off an injury, or I’m playing well or playing poorly. If I’m in the event, it’s to win the event.”

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - FEBRUARY 02:  Tiger Woods of the United States looks on from the 9th green as he finishes his round during the first round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club on February 2, 2017 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)