Tiger Woods at the Hero World Challenge: The tournament host talks past, present and future

The 15-time Major Champion revealed the dark moments during his rehabilitation and talk abut his hopes for the future.

Ahead of his week's Hero World Challenge, the 20-man tournament he hosts at Albany in the Bahamas, Tiger Woods talked about the "dark moments" of his recent past as well as the hopes he has of the future.

He's excited about being a part of this week, partly because he has missed "the jabbing, the needling" with his fellow players, but he left no-one in any doubt about what he has been through and the dim chances of him returning to his best on the course.

"I was just laying there," he said of the immediate aftermath of his car accident in February. "I was in a hospital bed for three months. That in itself is difficult."

"As far as playing at the Tour level," he added. "I don't know when that's going to happen."

But there is hope of seeing him in action in the future, with the 150th Open at St Andrews a more realistic, if still steep, target than the Masters.

"I would love to be able to play that Open Championship, there's no doubt about it," he said. "Physically, hopefully I can."

Let's take a look at everything Woods talked about, plus the subject he also dodged.

On this week's tournament

"I've hosted this event before when I've unfortunately not been in the field. This year is one of them. It will be fun watching the guys play. I miss it. I've been away from the game for an entire year. I miss the jabbing, the needling and how's everyone doing. There's only so much you can do via text and phone calls."

On the difficulty of this comeback

"This one's been much more difficult. The knee stuff that I had on my left knee, those operations were one thing, that's one level. Then you add the back, that's another level. And then, this time, with this right leg, that was … it's hard to explain how difficult it has been just to be immobile for the three months, just laying there.

"I was just looking forward to getting outside. That was a goal of mine. Especially for a person who has lived his entire life outside, that was the goal. Finally got to that point when I transitioned from wheelchair, to crutches, to now nothing. It's been a lot of hard work."

On the rehabilitation

"I was just laying there. I was in a hospital bed for three months. That in itself is difficult. Being assisted everywhere I went, not being able to move anywhere. I was just looking forward to just getting outside. Eventually I got to a point where they could wheelchair me outside safely and I could feel the sun, that was like a milestone.

"It's little things like that added up. And then eventually when I started crutching around the house. I built a really nice house, but I didn't realize how big it was until I start putting crutches on. There were times where I had to take breaks, but I tell you what, there's a point in time where my triceps got pretty jacked, so that was a lot of fun.

"It's been tough at times, yes, some dark moments, but then again, I was making progress through it, too, I could see some light and that was giving me hope. I'm able to participate more with my kids and their activities, and just more just in life in general. I'm positive."

On the crash

"Yeah, all those answers have been answered in the investigation, so you can read about all that there in the post report."

On playing again

"I'll put it to you this way: As far as playing at the Tour level, I don't know when that's going to happen. Right now, I'll play a round here or there, a little hit and giggle, I can do something like that."

On playing at the 150th Open

"I would love to play at St. Andrews, there's no doubt about it. It's my favourite golf course in the world. To be a two-time Open champion there, just being a part of the champions dinner is really neat. From my first one in '05 where I got to attend a champions dinner, it was pretty neat to be a part of.

"Peter Thomson was still alive, and I sat right next to him and to hear him tell stories of when he came over and he played the shots he played and how he did it, that was awesome. Those dinners are priceless, those stories. It's just an honour to be a part of a room like that.

"Yes, I would love to be able to play that Open Championship, there's no doubt about it. Physically, hopefully I can. I've got to get there first. Tournament's not going to go anywhere, but I need to get there."

On the future of golf and breakaway leagues

"I've decided for myself that I'm supporting the PGA TOUR, that's where my legacy is. I've been fortunate enough to have won 82 events on this tour and 15 major championships, and been a part of the World Golf Championships, the start of them and the end of them. So I have an allegiance to the PGA TOUR."

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