Tiger on his health: 'I feel great'

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Asked about his physical health Monday, Tiger Woods said he is fired up for his return to competitive golf after recovering from the back injuries that have kept him off the PGA Tour since August.

"I feel great," Woods said in an appearance on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. "I feel really, really good. It's great to be back out here competing again. I've missed it quite a bit."

Woods, who turns 39 this month, said his recovery from his back issues has allowed him to ramp up his practice sessions on the range and that he is hopeful his game is poised to reap the benefits.

"I'm excited that I have this much time off to obviously heal and get stronger and get my game in order for next year," said Woods, whose season was halted by March 31 back surgery and another back injury in August. "I went through a period there for the last year, year and a half, where I didn't really practice that much."

In the interview, Woods said he's finally hitting as many balls as he needs as he works on his game ahead of this week's Hero World Challenge, his annual tournament that raises funds for the Tiger Woods Foundation, and his return to the PGA Tour in 2015.

"I can finally log in the time, log in the minutes, and really delve into a good practice session and really get a lot out of it," he said. "And that's something that I hadn't been able to do in quite some time."

Woods played just eight times worldwide in 2014 after undergoing surgery to alleviate a disk issue, forcing him to miss the Masters and the U.S. Open. He then shut it down for several months after missing the cut at the PGA Championship following another back issue, and then said he would take more time off to get stronger.

"I went through a period there for the last year, year-and-a-half, where I didn't really practice that much," Woods said. "And, to be honest with you, I won some tournaments in 2013 where I wasn't prepared but I just knew the venues or I knew, you know, how to get around. But I hadn't practiced nearly enough as I would like to or I'm accustomed to. And eventually it showed this year. I just couldn't get away with it anymore."

Woods, who did not begin hitting balls again until last month, announced two weeks ago that Dallas-based Chris Como has been working with him on his swing.

"Happy to have Chris Como consulting and working with me on my swing. I'm excited to be back competing," Woods said.

Woods has had three swing coaches and four swings during a career that has brought him 14 majors among his 79 PGA Tour titles. He most recently worked with Sean Foley, whom he dismissed in August after three years and no majors. Woods last won a major in 2008 at the U.S. Open.

Woods' Hero World Challenge, an 18-man field of top-50 players, begins Thursday morning at Isleworth in Florida.

Information from ESPN.com's Bob Harig and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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