Tiger Woods, who hosted the Genesis Invitational but didn’t play in it, said he’s still feeling stiff as he recovers from his fifth back surgery but he remains optimistic he can play in the Masters in seven weeks.
“God I hope so. I’ve got to get there first,” Woods said with a laugh at the end of an interview with CBS’ Jim Nantz. “A lot of it is based on my surgeons and doctors and therapist and making sure I do it correctly. This is the only back I’ve got. I don’t have much more wiggle room left.”
Although Dustin Johnson won the unprecedented November Masters, which was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was Woods who won at Augusta National in 2019, the last time the Augusta National tournament took place in its traditional April spot.
Woods is the host of the Genesis Invitational but couldn’t play Riviera Country Club this week as he recovers from a microdiscectomy procedure to remove a pressurized disc fragment that was pinching his nerve.
“I’m feeling fine, a little bit stiff,” he told Nantz, saying he was “still in the gym, still doing mundane stuff that you have to do for rehab, the little things before I can start gravitating towards something a little more.”
He has made one equipment tweak, lengthening his putter and thereby taking some pressure off his back.
“Starts with that, I don’t have to bend over as far,” he said. “I’ve gone to the same length as my sand wedge because I do a lot of putting drills, blading — hitting the equator with my sand wedge and I figured, well, if I do a lot with that, why not lengthen my putter to the same length, so I did and it helped.”