Tiger 'nervous' for return, weighs equipment decisions


Tiger Woods will finally be back in action at the Hero World Challenge, and the former world number one will be sporting some unfamiliar equipment.

For years, Woods has been recognised with Nike-manufactured golf clubs and balls, but he, like so many others affected by the sportswear giant's decision to stop producing the equipment, will be playing with a number of different brands in his return as he tries to determine preferences.

Woods will stick with Nike irons, but he still has not decided on his woods, though TaylorMade seems to be the leader.

The 14-time major champion has settled on a golf ball, though, choosing Bridgestone for the Hero World Challenge.

"The most important thing is the ball,'' Woods said Sunday in the Bahamas, via ESPN. "Once you find a ball, then you can work around everything else. The ball is number one. The most important club in the bag is the ball.''

Despite becoming one of the most feared and accomplished golfers during the 1990s and early 2000s, Woods still gets nervous.

"I'm nervous for every tournament I play in, whether it's after a layoff, or six in a row, or a major,'' he said. "I care. If I care, I'm nervous. And it's good to be that way.

"To have that nervous energy and channel it into aggression, into focus, concentration, that's good stuff. If I wasn't nervous, that would mean I didn't care. I don't want to be out there flat.''

Woods said he still had work to do on his fitness as he prepares for his return.

"It's weird to say, but I have to get my walking legs,'' Woods said. "It's a five-mile walk. You forget what it feels like to be in golf shoes versus tennis shoes. To be on an uneven lie versus a flat lie. I can walk for two or three hours on a treadmill and it's not the same as walking on a golf course. It's so different, the standing around [between shots].

"The rhythm of playing in a golf cart versus walking and playing. I had forgotten that because I had been away for over a year."