Woods optimistic after knee surgery
October 21, 2019
By PGATOUR.COM Staff and Wire Reports
- October 21, 2019
Tiger Woods birdies No. 8 at MGM Resorts The Challenge
Tiger Woods’ return to Japan also marks another return from knee surgery. Woods recently had an arthroscopic procedure performed on his left knee.
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"Unfortunately, I've been down this road with my knee before," Woods said Monday in Japan. "This is my fifth operation on it. I understand what it takes to come back from it. It's been nice to have movement again and not having it catch and lock up."
Woods, who had arthroscopic surgery two months ago, played the made-for-television "MGM Resorts The Challenge: Japan Skins" event on Monday. He’s also competing in this week’s ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP, the first PGA TOUR event in Japan. Narashino Country Club, which is located about 30 miles northeast of central Tokyo, is hosting both events.
Woods won five skins on Monday, finishing second to Jason Day in the four-man competition that also included FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama.
Woods’ latest surgery repaired minor cartilage damage in his left knee. He planned to have the procedure after last year’s Hero World Challenge, but delayed it after winning the TOUR Championship. His knee troubled him all season, becoming more bothersome after he won the Masters in April.
“I figured I would keep rolling with it,” Woods said. “I tried to get through it the rest of the year and it progressively got worse and got to where it was affecting even reading putts. It started affecting my back and the way I was walking and trying to play.”
After the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP, Woods isn’t scheduled to compete again until his Hero World Challenge. Whether he will play in the Presidents Cup is undecided. The ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP will be Woods’ final start before he announces his four captain’s picks.
Woods made the cut in half his six starts since his Masters victory. He finished T9 at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide and T21 at the U.S. Open. He withdrew with a mild oblique strain after shooting a first-round 75 at THE NORTHERN TRUST, and his season ended after a T37 showing at the BMW Championship. He finished 42nd in the FedExCup.
“(The surgery) made me more hopeful that I could … play this week, play Hero and play Australia,” Woods said. “The way I was feeling toward the middle part of the year, it was going to be a tall order to be able to do it all.
“I’m excited about having this end-of-year run where I’m feeling much more fit and I don’t have the achiness that I’ve been dealing with for the last couple years.”
Woods has won twice in Japan, at the 2004 and 2005 Dunlop Phoenix. He said he would like to return next year to compete in the Tokyo Olympics. Woods watched the archery competition at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.
"It would be an honor to represent my country in the Olympic Games," Woods said. "Right now I'm ninth in the world ranking and hopefully in the next year I can have a good year and qualify and represent my country."
News conference after MGM Resorts The Challenge: Japan Skins