Woods, who is at the AT&T National this week in his role as the non-playing tournament host, said that other than some putts, he had not hit any golf balls since he withdrew from the Players Championship after nine holes almost seven weeks ago. He said he exacerbated the strains to his left lateral collateral ligament and Achilles’, which he originally injured at the Masters in April.
“Probably in retrospect, it was a borderline call whether I should have played the Players,” Woods said.
He added: “I pushed it too hard and hurt myself. Now this time around, it’s different. I’m setting no timetable.”
By not making a call on whether he will be ready for the British Open, he leaves open the possibility that he could play if he improves drastically in the next two weeks. But based on previous training regimens he has used when preparing to return to competition after an injury, the chances of a return appear virtually nil.
Relaxed, joking at times and wearing an almost full beard, Woods looked as if he has been on summer vacation. That is hardly the case, he said.
“We’re in the gym every day, most of the time two times, sometimes three times a day,” he said. “It’s not just the leg; it’s the whole body. Got to keep everything going. And obviously soft tissue, getting that worked on. So it’s been arduous, but then again, I’ve done this before.”
Woods said surgery had not been discussed and was not required.
And he dismissed the notion that his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 major championship victories — which Nicklaus capped by winning the 1986 Masters — had been set back by missing the recent United States Open and, possibly, the British Open.
“Absolutely not,” said Woods, 35. “He won when he was 46, right? I’ve still got some time. And on top of that, we’re about the same pace, I believe, years on tour and majors won. So I feel pretty confident of what my future holds and very excited about it.
“I’m excited about coming out here and being ready to go instead of trying to kind of patch it, which I’ve been for a while.”