Golf: After tiring year, 'worn out' Tiger Woods may play less next season to be always at his best

Tiger Woods enjoyed a strong finish on his return to golf, playing in 18 PGA Tour tournaments - the most he has been involved in since 2012.
Tiger Woods enjoyed a strong finish on his return to golf, playing in 18 PGA Tour tournaments - the most he has been involved in since 2012.PHOTO: REUTERS/USA TODAY SPORTS

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Tiger Woods plans to modify his tournament schedule in 2019 after admitting to being exhausted in the closing stages of his comeback season following spinal fusion surgery.

The 14-time Major winner enjoyed a strong finish on his return to golf, playing in 18 PGA Tour tournaments - the most he has been involved in since 2012.

But he admitted it was a mistake to take on such a heavy schedule, participating in seven events in the final nine weeks.

"I was not physically prepared to play that much golf at the end of the year," he said ahead of this week's Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, an event he hosts.

"It was just hard for me to maintain my strength and my weight through all that. I tend to lose a lot of weight when I play.

"I was exhausted by the time I got to the Ryder Cup. I was worn out mentally, physically, emotionally."

Woods, who turns 43 on Dec 30, is no longer able to train like he did in his prime, and the hectic end to the season ultimately took its toll.

Still, he was able to conjure up enough form to triumph at the season-ending Tour Championship and cap a stretch in which he posted five top-10 finishes over eight events.

"I played all my good tournaments when I had time off and I felt rested," said the former world No. 1. "If I didn't feel rested, I didn't play well.

 

"Maybe that's just being a little bit older, but it's important, and playing seven of the last nine last (season) was too much. I have to make sure that doesn't happen again."

Woods, whose tally of Majors is second only to the 18 held by Jack Nicklaus, may play fewer tournaments next term but he is hopeful that will allow him to be nothing short of his best whenever he plays.

"Being physically in better shape going into next season is very important in being able to handle the condensed schedule," he added.

"There's literally a big event every single month, so physically, I've got to be in better shape than I was last year."