In Brief

Tiger Woods: my kids think I’m just a ‘YouTube golfer’

Former world No. 1 aims to impress with comeback at the Hero World Challenge

Tiger Woods returns to competitive action this week after a ten-month absence - and the former world champion is out prove that he’s still a force to be reckoned with in golf.

Woods is making a comeback following multiple operations on his back and will play at the Hero World Challenge, which tees off in the Bahamas tomorrow.

Despite having won 14 major titles and being regarded as one of golf’s best ever players, Woods says there are still some important people he has yet to impress: his kids.

Owing to his long-term injury problems, Woods’ young children - daughter Sam, ten, and eight-year-old son Charlie - have only seen him in action in old online videos, rather than live on the golf course.

“I never thought my kids understood what I’ve been able to do in the game of golf, because they always think I’m the YouTube golfer!” Woods, 41, said in an interview with Sky Sports.

“They’ve never really seen me in action. Charlie was there when I won in Akron [in 2013], but he doesn’t remember it, he was too young.

“Most of the stuff they’ve watched has been highlight packages and they’ve never seen what I can do on a golf course.”

Speaking about his recovering following surgery in April, Woods said that while this week’s event is a “big step”, he must be patient.

“I don’t have pain in my back anymore, but I do have some stiffness,” he told the BBC. “I’m still learning what my body can and can’t do, so just give me a little bit of time. 

“Let me play this event and see what I can and can’t do, and we’ll all have a better understanding once I’m at game speed. I’m looking forward to seeing how I feel.”

He added: “There is still some apprehension going forward and this week is a big step for me. Last year I was still struggling with the pain. I looked like I was playing in slo-mo - I didn’t realise how bad my back had become. It has been a slow, degrading process.

“The neatest thing for me is to be by the bed, grab a club and not have to use it as a crutch. That’s so exciting for me. I am so thankful I have had this procedure and got to this point.”

Woods is part of an 18-player line-up competing at the Hero World Challenge and is paired alongside Justin Thomas for tomorrow’s opening round.

Here is the full list of Hero World Challenge round one pairings

  • Hideki Matsuyama and Francesco Molinari 
  • Charley Hoffman and Kevin Chappell 
  • Patrick Reed and Daniel Berger 
  • Justin Rose and Tommy Fleetwood 
  • Henrik Stenson and Alex Noren 
  • Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods 
  • Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka 
  • Kevin Kisner and Rickie Fowler 
  • Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth

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