Tiger Woods says he's "right on schedule" ahead of ZOZO Championship

Woods finishes tied second at the Japan Skins game and looks ahead to his PGA Tour return following knee surgery this week...

Andy Roberts's picture
Mon, 21 Oct 2019
Tiger Woods says he's "right on schedule" ahead of ZOZO Championship

Tiger Woods claims he is "right on schedule" as he makes his first start on the PGA Tour since August at this week's ZOZO Championship in Japan. 

Woods, 43, is making his competitive return to action at Accordia Golf Narashino CC this week following arthroscopic knee surgery in August after failing to qualify for the season-ending Tour Championship where he would have been defending his title. 

The former World No.1, who has now had five surgeries on his left knee, has only played in 17 competitive round since landing his 15th major title at The Masters in April.

But despite his up-and-down season, Woods admits he is back on schedule heading into this week's inaugural ZOZO Championship where he lines up as one of the favourites for the title. 

"I was intending to actually get it done [knee surgery] last year at the Hero World Challenge," said Woods, who finished tied second to Jason Day in the inaugural Japan Skins game on Monday. 

"Because I had played well in the play-offs and I won the Tour Championship, I figured I would keep rolling with it.

"I wanted to play at Torrey at the beginning of the year and if I had the surgery, I wouldn't be ready, so I decided to not have a procedure done and tried to get through it the rest of the year. 

"It progressively got worse and got to where it was affecting even reading putts. You could see it towards the end of the year I wasn't quite getting down on my putts well. 

"I've been down this road before with knee rehabs and knew the protocols.

"It's been nice to have it [knee] moving again and not having it catch and lock up like it has been. It's just wear and tear over the years. It's been stressed out for a very long time and it's nice to have it cleaned up.

"I'm right on schedule. The procedure was scheduled for the Tuesday after the Tour Championship and I had it the Tuesday of the Tour Championship. The whole idea was to be ready for this event and get ready for Hero and possibly Australia [Presidents Cup]."

Brooks Koepka, who also underwent knee surgery recently, was forced to withdraw from his title defence after two round at The CJ Cup last week due to his knee.