Woods on the mend but no date yet on comeback

 Tiger Woods attending a 2015 US Open men's singles match in New York, on Sept 4, 2015.
Tiger Woods attending a 2015 US Open men's singles match in New York, on Sept 4, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

MIAMI • Golf's former world No. 1 Tiger Woods, who has not played competitively since last August following back surgery, has no timetable for a return as the year's first Major, the Masters, looms less than a month away.

"Health-wise, I continue to improve," the American said in a blog post on his website on Friday. "I'm working hard on my short game at my outdoor practice facility and on my indoor full swing golf simulator.

"Still no timetable on my return, but I'm excited to get back out there with the guys."

The 14-time Major champion, second only to the record 18 Majors won by Jack Nicklaus, has not won a Major since the 2008 US Open.

Woods has 79 career PGA titles, three shy of the all-time record set by Sam Snead. He has not won a title since the 2013 World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.

Woods said he spent time at sponsor events this week and congratulated retiring National Football League quarter-back Peyton Manning, adding: "I look forward to playing more golf with him, and, right now, getting more shots."

Woods pondered about his youthful days and the PGA's new young guns after a dinner last month hosted by Nicklaus for 22 US Ryder Cup team hopefuls plus captain Davis Love and vice-captains Woods, Jim Furyk and Tom Lehman.

"It was fun to catch up and rib each other," Woods said. "It was good to hear from the younger guys who are on the cusp of making the team for the first time.

"It was nice to get things out in the open, so they understand what the atmosphere will be like."

Woods said he recalled leaving Stanford University at age 20 and being the only tour player his age.

"That was tough," he said. "Eventually, guys I played with in college trickled out. Now, there's a core of younger guys, like Rory (McIlroy), Jason (Day), Rickie (Fowler) and Jordan (Spieth). It's a talented group that will compete against each other for a long time."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 13, 2016, with the headline 'Woods on the mend but no date yet on comeback'. Print Edition | Subscribe