Long hiatus for Tiger Woods continues

Tiger Woods, regaining strength, has been having putting contests against Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas

Woods, who has been off the circuit for months, is certainly not in attendance at East Lake as some of the top players in the world vie for $10 million (and the FedEx Cup title) that the 14-time major victor has banked twice.

Persistent back issues have led to a succession of surgeries for the former world number one, who has made only three tournament appearances since August 2015 and withdrew from the most recent of those - February's Dubai Desert Classic - after just one round.

It has been almost six months since Tiger Woods underwent his fourth back surgery and his latest update is both promising and worrisome at the same time.

Woods will also be on site for next week's Presidents Cup at Liberty National in Jersey City, New Jersey, where he will serve as a USA assistant captain under Steve Stricker, a role he first held at last year's Ryder Cup.

"I'm starting to hit the ball a little further".

"I'm feeling good, strong and doing really well", Woods wrote. Most importantly, he says he's pain free and been sleeping better as a result, although he's still not in a position to consider a timetable for a return to the PGA Tour. I know you need to do some for golf, no doubt about it. I have not taken a full swing since my back fusion surgery last April, but continue to chip and putt every day.

"As I wrote earlier this summer, I had a few matters to work on with my doctors and I did that". Once my surgeon takes a look, he'll give me the parameters of what I can do.

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"I have my six-month back X-rays coming up".

"Playing-wise, I'm not looking ahead yet".

Woods has only appeared in 24 tournaments since 2014 due to various health problems, including four different operations on his back.

"I'm going to listen to my doctors and continue to take it slowly". "I had a blast doing it previous year at the Ryder Cup and we have another great captain in Steve Stricker".

That self-imposed exile should end next week with the start of the Presidents Cup, for which Woods will be featured as an assistant coach on the USA team in much the same capacity as his role with last year's Ryder Cup team.

"Finally, thanks to my fans for your patience and encouragement. I want to thank all the first responders and volunteers who continue to provide assistance to those in need during these hard times".

Tiger Woods, who has no idea when (if?) he'll be healthy enough to return to the PGA Tour, may be deploying yet another swing change for the occasion.


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