Tiger Woods announced his return to the game of golf on Wednesday (Dec. 8), tweeting that he will play in his first tournament since his February car crash. “Although it’s been a long and challenging year,” Tiger, 45, tweeted, “I am very excited to close it out by competing in the PNC Championship with my son, Charlie. I’m playing as a Dad and couldn’t be more excited and proud.” The PNC Championship takes place on Dec. 18-19. It’s an unofficial 36-hold PGA Tour Champions event, one that allows golf pros to play alongside family members.
Although it’s been a long and challenging year, I am very excited to close it out by competing in the @PNCchampionship with my son Charlie. I’m playing as a Dad and couldn’t be more excited and proud.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) December 8, 2021
The PNC Championship also allows players to use carts, which is key since it’s been less than a year since Tiger’s devastating accident. The golf icon was driving in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, when his car, a Genesis SUV, hit a “Welcome to Rolling Hills Estates” sign, crossed over a center divider, and “traveled more than 150 feet across the shoulder through shrubbery and an uprooted tree before coming to a stop,” per CNN. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said that Tiger mistook the gas pedal for the break – “There is zero braking on that data recorder,” but “there is 99% acceleration on the pedal” – and the car was going 87 mph at the time of the accident.
Tiger suffered “suffered significant orthopedic injuries to his lower right extremity that were treated during emergency surgery,” said Dr. Anish Mahajan of the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, per CNN. “Comminuted open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones were stabilized by inserting a rod into the tibia. Additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle were stabilized with a combination of screws and pins.” In the months after the crash, Tiger often sported crutches as he got around. However, in October, he was spotted on a golf course for the first time since the accident, and he was able to hit a few balls without too much trouble.
In an interview with Golf Digest, Tiger said that this rehab process “was more painful than anything I have ever experienced.” He didn’t comment at the time if his golf career was over. “My physical therapy has been keeping me busy. I do my routines every day and am focused on my No. 1 goal right now: walking on my own. Taking it one step at a time.”