Tiger Woods has revealed just how close he came to losing his right leg following his horror car crash earlier this year.
In an exclusive interview with Henni Koyack for Golf Digest – his first such chat since the accident on the outskirts of Los Angeles in February – the 15-time major champion outlined the seriousness of the comminuted open fractures he sustained to both the tibia and the fibula in his right leg.
“There was a point in time when, I wouldn’t say it was 50-50, but it was damn near there if I was going to walk out of that hospital with one leg," said Woods who spent three weeks in hospital after the crash.
“Once I [kept it], I wanted to test and see if I still had my hands. So even in the hospital, I would have [girlfriend] Erica and Rob [McNamara, his close friend] throw me something. Throw me anything.”
Woods, who will host the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas this week, added that, whilst he believes he’ll return to the tour “one day”, he doesn’t believe he will be able to play a full schedule again.
Rather, he intends to pick and choose a few events per year, like Ben Hogan did following his own near-fatal car crash in the 1950s.
“You practice around that, and you gear yourself up for that,” said Woods. “I think that’s how I’m going to have to play it from now on. It’s an unfortunate reality, but it’s my reality. And I understand it, and I accept it.”
“I have so far to go. I’m not even at the halfway point. I have so much more muscle development and nerve development that I have to do in my leg. At the same time, I’ve had five back operations, so I'm having to deal with that. As the leg gets stronger, sometimes the back may act up. It’s a tough road.”