6 great sport channels
Football, Rugby, UFC, GAA
All free when you join eir Broadband
Tiger Woods is edging closer to a return to competitive action but is refusing to set a date for his possible comeback.
The former world number one underwent a third back operation in less than two years in October and two months later he revealed that he had yet to begin rehabilitation, while admitting he had 'nothing to look forward to'.
Woods has not played competitively since finishing joint tenth in the Wyndham Championship but on Monday he completed five holes with Mark O'Meara at the official opening of the course he designed at Bluejack National Golf Club.
Although he has registered for the US Open at Oakmont in June, Woods does not know if he will be ready to make his return.
"I'm definitely a little tired but I feel pretty good," Woods is quoted as saying by ESPN.com.
"I haven't been out here playing like this. I hadn't played any holes until today. I know people have said I've played holes back at Medalist, but I haven't. This is actually the first time I've played holes since Wyndham. It's been a while.
"I'm just progressing. You saw how I was going at it today, nice and smooth. That's harder than I have been going at it the last month. Just gradually progressing. We're just trying to progress and I'm doing that."
Woods admits he has a long way to go until he is ready to make a competitive return but he has learned to be patient during the course of his rehabilitation.
"I still have a long way to go [but] I'm on the back side. I'm getting better, but I'm also getting closer to feeling better every day," he added.
"I've got to get stronger and I've got to get faster. I'm not hitting it very far right now. I still have a lot more to go in the tank as far as speed, which is great. I'm able to hit the ball as far as I am right now just cruising. Then trying to work on new drivers [he experimented with two on Monday], too, at the same time. That's kind of a test.
"I know I need to hit a bunch of drivers. But I can't hit a bunch of drivers. I'm trying to figure that out.
"I haven't set any date to when I'm playing again, which is frustrating to say. But to be honest with you, that's what I've had to do. I've had to go with that mindset. Would I have said that five months ago? No way. I couldn't imagine then feeling like I do right now. Keep improving. Keep getting better. Keep making progress. And I'm doing that."