Tiger not ruling out return for final two majors of 2016


Tiger Woods continues to make progress in his recovery from back surgery and is not ruling out a return in time for the year's final two major championships.

Speaking on Wednesday at the Quicken Loans National, a tournament he hosts annually but will not play in this year, Woods revealed he has worked his way up to playing 18 holes and on consecutive days.

However, he has set a higher bar for what he needs to do to return to the PGA Tour.

"It's about four, five days in a row," Woods said. "It's about me playing 36 holes on a daily basis ... I'm not quite there yet. I'm trying to get there, I'm trying to get there as fast as I can, but I'm trying to do it right at the same time. As you know, I've pushed through a lot of injuries and rehabs before in the past, and I'm trying to do it correctly this time."

Woods has not played since the Wyndham Championship last August and underwent a second microdiscectomy procedure on his back in mid-September. He said he has been pleasantly surprised that his length off the tee does not appear to have been affected by his injuries.

"I've gotten better, I'm able to hit shots, my numbers are good off the tee - that's one of the things I was worried about, that I was going to lose distance, and I haven't done that," he said.

"I've actually gained a little bit, which is nice. So that's a positive.

"Now I've just got to get to where, strength-wise, I can handle the workload of playing out here on a weekly basis, the workload of practicing after rounds, not having to go ice my back and do all that kind of stuff.

"I need to get to where I can play 18 holes out here and then go to the range for an hour and work on my game. That's what I used to do. That's one of the reasons why I think I've had some success; I was able to work on it during the week. I'm just not quite there yet."

The 40-year-old former world number one has completed only two of the last 10 major championships, skipping four due to injury and missing the cut in four more. His last major title came at the 2008 U.S. Open.

The Open Championship begins on July 14 at Royal Troon, with the US PGA Championship to follow two weeks later on a calendar compressed by golf's return to the Olympics.

Woods is still not putting a timetable on his return, but is also not ready to rule himself out of any events beyond this week's tournament at Congressional.

"I'm just playing it week to week, and I keep getting better, I keep getting physically better," he said. "I just hope that everything clicks in and I can do it sooner than later."