The waiting is almost over.
Tiger Woods will make his long awaited return to competitive golf Thursday at the Quicken Loans National Tournament, looking to show people that he is over his injury problems.
Woods has been struggling with a pinched nerve in his back, and has been off the scene since March – when he was forced to have a surgery to amend the injury.
Golf struggled without Woods
The wait saw viewing figures and attendances down, with interest in golf not as high as usual, with it’s highest profile star not competing.
As a result, all of the golfing world are delighted to have Woods back and most will be hoping that he can return to playing at his best as soon as possible.
Don't expect greatness
The 38-year-old, however, has warned people that he doesn’t expect to be playing in the same style that has seen him rise to stardom and establish himself as one of the greatest players to ever take part in the sport.
“The difference as I've aged is I can't play the way I used to," Woods said to reporters on the PGA Tour.
"But I'm pain-free. It's been a very long time, probably a good two years since I've felt this way.
"I now have to rely on different parts of my game like strategy and course management."
Woods’ return is actually earlier than anticipated. He has already had to miss the year’s first two majors, The Masters and the US Open, but he originally intended to complete his come-back at the British Open, which stats on July 17th.
Instead that will now be where he aims to he top form, as it's the next opportunity for him to try and put an end to his six year drought waiting for a major title - the longest he has experienced since turning professional.
Previously the fourteen time major champion had looked certain to beat Jack Nicklaus’ record, which stands at 18, but his poor form – and this latest injury – over recent times has thrown it into doubt.
It is even more questionable considering Woods’ recent statement on his recent health, where he said he was showing signs of age.
“I feel old. The Chinese kid [14-year-old Guan Tianlang] who qualified for the Masters last year was born after I won the tournament for the first time and that is just not cool," the American told a news conference.
"That is what is coming. The next generation are taller, bigger and more physical - these kids in college, all the long-hitters are 6ft 2ins to 6ft 4ins.
"I was number two in driving distance for a number of years just behind John Daly - things have changed dramatically.”
Woods will be looking to use this current tournament as one to build momentum, as the British Open draws closer to the horizon.
The worry will be that he has rushed himself back too quickly – he even admitted that he wouldn’t be playing in this tournament if the profits didn’t benefit his own charity foundation.
But, when he steps onto the tee on Thursday all the questions will begin to be answered.
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