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Tiger Woods has admitted something he has been reluctant to say since the beginning of his serious injury struggles: that he may never play competitive golf again.

Speaking ahead of the Presidents Cup, where he is a vice-captain to Steve Stricker, Woods addressed the fact that while he still has a burning desire to return to the PGA Tour, he is also beginning to accept that there’s a chance that may not happen at all.

Woods, who hasn’t played a competitive round of golf since Dubai, also admitted that at one point, it was up in the air as to whether he’d even be able to perform his duties at the Presidents Cup due to the pain in his back.

However, he added that he’s now ‘optimistic’ but didn’t deviate too much from what he said in his recent blog post, where he talked openly about the long road back to playing competitively – if he makes it there at all.

“I’m starting to hit the ball a little further – 60-yard shots,” he wrote. “I have not taken a full swing since my back fusion surgery last April, but continue to chip and putt every day.

“The latter is paying off. Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler have been dropping by my house for putting contests. Justin also comes over to practice his chipping. It was fun to celebrate his PGA Championship win with him and Rickie, and we had a blast.

Tiger Woods

“I have my six-month back X-rays coming up. Once my surgeon takes a look, he’ll give me the parameters of what I can do moving forward.

“I’m working out six days a week, alternating between the treadmill, bike riding, swimming and lifting twice a day. My muscle tone is coming back, but I’m not in golf shape yet. That’s going to take time.

“Playing wise, I’m not looking ahead yet because I don’t know what kind of swing I’m going to use. I just don’t know what my body is going to allow me to do. Until I do, I’m going to listen to my doctors and continue to take it slowly.”

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