Tiger Woods announced that he will return to competitive golf on Dec. 17-19 in the PNC Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Fla.
For the second straight year, Tiger will team with his son Charlie, now 12, who last year stole the show at the course and on television broadcasts as the Woods team tied for seventh in the event that pairs a major championship winner and a family member.
“Although it’s been a long and challenging year, I am very excited to close it out by competing in the @PNCchampionship with my son Charlie. I’m playing as a Dad and couldn’t be more excited and proud,” Woods posted on Twitter.
The 45-year-old Woods has not played competitive golf since the PNC Championship last December before being seriously injured in a one-car, rollover accident in February near Los Angeles and undergoing surgery that saved his right leg from amputation.
After being immobilized for three months because of several serious injuries, Woods spent time in a wheelchair and then got around on crutches before walking with a limp before and working hard to eventually get his leg stronger, although he claims it’s not yet and might never again be full strength.
“It’s very fortunate that Mr. Woods was able to come out of this alive,” said Carlos Gonzalez, an L.A. County Sheriff’s Department deputy who was the first law enforcement official to reach the scene of the accident.
Woods posted a three-second video of him hitting an iron shot on Twitter recently with the caption, “Making progress,” and it almost instantly went viral. Last week when he was at the Hero World Challenge that he hosts in the Bahamas, he was seen hitting golf shots on the driving range while the other pros were playing the tournament.
However, he has given no indication as to when he might return to the PGA Tour, but speculation has centered around the Masters at Augusta National in April and the 149th Open Championship on the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland in July.
Woods has claimed the Green Jacket for winning the Masters four times, and won two of his three titles in the Open at St. Andrews in 2000 and 2005.
“I’ll pick and choose, just like Mr. (Ben) Hogan did (after he sustained serious leg injuries in an auto accident in 1949),” Woods said last week at the Hero World Challenge. “I think something that is realistic is playing the Tour one day, but never full-time, ever again.
“Pick and choose a few events a year and you play around that. You practice around that, and you gear yourself up for that. I think that’s how I’m going to have to play it from now on. It’s an unfortunate reality, but it’s my reality. And I understand it, and I accept it.”
Hogan returned to the PGA Tour in 1950 at the age of 37 and played a limited schedule the rest of his career, but still claimed 11 of his 64 PGA Tour victories and six of his nine major championships after the accident.
Woods is tied with Sam Snead for the most career PGA Tour victories at 82, and his 15 major titles are second to the record of 18 held by Jack Nicklaus.