A few years ago, during the 2018 Tour Championship, NBC Sports commentator Roger Maltbie famously said on the telecast, “He does not move the needle; he is the needle.”
Maltbie, of course, was referring to Tiger Woods, who went on to conquer East Lake Golf Club that September, marking his first victory in five years.
More than five years later, Woods arrived in the media room at Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas Tuesday, speaking to the media for the first time in months. He has not played since the 2023 Masters, as his ankle required surgery after his appearance at Augusta National.
Nevertheless, Woods detailed his plan for the 2024 season.
“The best scenario would be maybe a tournament a month,” Woods said ahead of the Hero World Challenge.
“I think it’s realistic. [I] would start with maybe [the] Genesis and something in March near The Players. Again, we have set up right now the biggest events are one per month. It sets itself up for that. Now, I need to get myself ready for all that. I think this week is a big step in that direction.”
Hypothetically, Woods would begin his season in mid-February at the Genesis Invitational, the tournament he hosts but has never won. That event is held at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California, the course where Woods made his PGA Tour debut as an amateur in 1992.
Then, he would compete at The Players at TPC Sawgrass in mid-March, an event he has triumphed twice.
Next year, Valhalla will host the PGA, Pinehurst No. 2 will host America’s national championship and golf’s oldest major will be at Royal Troon in Scotland.
Woods famously defeated Bob May in a playoff at Valhalla at the 2000 PGA Championship. But he missed the cut there in 2014 the last time the Louisville course hosted a major.
The 15-time major champion is not dwelling on the past; rather, he is focusing on the present and the near future. He is eager to get back to competition.
“I love competing, I love playing. I miss being out here with the guys; I miss the camaraderie, the fraternity-like atmosphere out here, and the overall banter,” Woods said Tuesday.
“But what drives me is I love to compete. There will come a point in time, I haven’t come around to it fully yet, that I won’t be able to win again. When that day comes, I’ll walk — well, now I can walk. I won’t say run away, but I’m going to walk away.”
Knowing Woods loves to compete, he is undoubtedly aware that he has amassed 82 career PGA Tour victories, tied with Sam Snead for the most all-time.
So when asked if he thinks he can win one more time, Woods said:
Imagine if Woods went on to win just one more tournament. The golf world would explode like it did that late Sunday afternoon in September of 2018, when Woods had tens of thousands walking with him every step of the way.
Undoubtedly, Woods is the most transcendent athlete of the 21st century.
If he can make one more comeback, he would shock the sporting world in a way never seen before. It is unlikely, but we should never count out Tiger Woods.