Tiger Woods is targeting a return at the Open Championships, according to sources at the Golf Channel.
Woods underwent surgery on a pinned never in his back at the start of this month and has since been fighting for fitness to get back playing again.
News on how his recovery has been going has been fairly hard to come by – with no official date set for return – but this is the clearest indication that Woods is close to returning to playing again that has been seen.
The Open Championships takes place on July 17th-20th at the Royal Liverpool.
If Woods does return here it will mean he will miss the second-major of the year, the US Open, though. This is likely to do further damage to his chances of chasing down Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major victories.
The 14-time winner has already missed The Masters this year, due to injury, for the first time in his professional career and has not won a major championship since back in 2008, before his off-the-field issues.
Earlier this week it was reported that the 38-year-old had returned to light-training by his agent, Mark Steinberg, taking to the course to practice chipping and putting again.
And this news means the signs are even more positive that Woods’ absence will not be too lengthy.
That much is something that the golfing world will generally be happy with. Although some of the players may not be grateful for the increased competition they will face upon Woods’ return, viewing figures since the most publicised and recognised star on the tour got injured have fell dramatically.
ESPN received its lowest ratings since it began covering the Masters, on opening day, and overall they were down lower than they have ever been since 1957.
As such, it was predicted that Woods’ absence, which looks set to last for four months, would cost the golfing world $15 billion in revenue.
Woods has not played since the Honda Classic in March and has only competed in four competitions on the tour this season, not claiming a victory in one of them.
He does have some extenuating circumstances for this, however, as his back problem has been troubling him for a long-time now and he has simply attempted to play through the pain barrier.
It is hoped that this surgery will see Woods return to closer to his top-form that has evaded him for some time now.
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