Tiger Woods has not played competitive golf since July and missed the Hero World Challenge last week with a foot injury; former world No 1 to use a cart when he plays alongside Rory McIlroy against Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth in The Match
By Amar Mehta
Last Updated: 08/12/22 9:36am
Tiger Woods is ready to defy a foot injury and return to action alongside Rory McIlroy in The Match on Saturday.
The former world No 1 has not played competitive golf since July and missed the Hero World Challenge event in the Bahamas last week because of an injured right foot.
However, he will be aided by the use of a cart when he teams up with Rory McIlroy to compete against Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth in the 12-hole competition at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Florida.
The event will use a best-ball format, with the best individual score winning each hole.
“I can hit golf balls. It’s just hard getting from point A to point B, so [the cart] will certainly help a lot,” said Woods, who is still struggling with plantar fasciitis in the foot – tissue inflation that causes pain in the heel.
“Being in a cart is a totally different deal. That’s something I’ve done at home quite a bit. When I was trying to gear up and be able to play in the Hero and see if I could actually do it, the walking part was the challenge, it wasn’t actually swinging.
“I’ve got to get this plantar to heal and that just takes time. It’s not something that happens overnight. It’s going to take a lot of rest and healing and unfortunately, treatment. It’s a tough road.”
The last time the public saw Woods, who suffered significant injuries to his right leg and foot during a February 2021 car crash, play was at The Open at St Andrews, where he missed the cut.
He has played in two other events in 2022, placing 47th at the Masters and withdrawing from the PGA Championship after the third round.
“I can tell you one thing,” Woods said. “I have the No 1 player on my team, so I’m good.”
McIlroy had praise for Woods, too. “He’s probably the best iron player that’s ever lived … probably the best golfer that’s ever lived. Period.
“I think if he can just get it out in the fairway, and get some looks in the fairway, I think we’re going to have a really good chance.”
Spieth, meanwhile, is looking forward to locking horns with Woods and McIlroy.
“If you told myself and JT in 2012 in college that we would be playing against these two in a match, that would be a really, really cool thing,” he said.
“We want to win it because of how much these two inspired us. It’s a unique and really cool opportunity for us to try to take down a couple of the greats, a couple of the greatest that ever played.”