Top-level golf remains Woods' major ambition

Tiger Woods hits a shot at the Augusta National Golf Club during a practice round for the 2015 Masters Golf Tournament.
Tiger Woods hits a shot at the Augusta National Golf Club during a practice round for the 2015 Masters Golf Tournament.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK • Three weeks after casting doubts on his golfing future, Tiger Woods has revealed that he still expects to be playing at the highest level over the next decade.

The former world No. 1 has slipped to No. 414 as he overcomes injury problems.

He had back surgery in September for the second time in 18 months but believes he can still add to his 14 Major titles.

"Where do I see myself in the next five to 10 years?

"I am still playing golf at the highest level, winning tournaments and Majors," Woods, who turns 40 on Wednesday, wrote on his website.

MUCH TO LOOK FORWARD TO

Where do I see myself in the next five to 10 years? I am still playing golf at the highest level, winning tournaments and Majors.

TIGER WOODS on his golfing future

The American last won a Major in 2008 and has not won a tournament since the Bridgestone Invitational in August 2013.

It was the player himself who spoke pessimistically about his future earlier this month during a news conference at the Hero World Challenge, where he announced that there was no timetable for his return.

"There is nothing I can look forward to, nothing I can build towards," he told a news conference.

"Where is the light at the end of the tunnel? I don't know."

But in his 1,238-word entry that reviewed this year and looked ahead to next year - his 20th anniversary as a pro, he wrote: "The thing I'm looking forward to the most about 2016 is getting back out there again.

"I've missed it, and I would like to do it pain-free...

"Hopefully, I'll be able to play my way onto the Ryder Cup."

He has already been named as an assistant by United States captain Davis Love III for next year's Ryder Cup in Minnesota but wants to be able to take swings at the Hazeltine National Golf Club.

"Either way, I'm excited about being named a vice-captain," he added on Tuesday.

"It will be new, fun and special. To have Davis appoint and trust me is pretty special...

"Hopefully, I can play and lead at the same time and not just be on the sideline."

As he remains off the course, he said he has to accept that 2015 was a punishing year.

"It was a tough year physically and took a toll on my body.

"I had to battle through a swing pattern change and get that organised, because it was awful at the beginning of the year," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 24, 2015, with the headline 'Top-level golf remains Woods' major ambition'. Print Edition | Subscribe