Tiger Woods is back...chipping on a practice range. But he's back! Doing golf stuff!
The 14-time major champion took to Twitter on Thursday, the day before the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs starts at the Dell Technologies Championship, to share some slow-mo footage of him chipping a golf ball. Woods indicated in the tweet that his doctor had given him the all clear to begin chipping again.
Dr. gave me the ok to start pitching pic.twitter.com/tboq1L3Xdn
This is the first golf action of any kind we've seen publicly from Woods since undergoing a spinal fusion surgery in April, his fourth back procedure dating back to March 2014. That surgery, a fusion of the L5/S1 joint in his back, typically comes with a lengthy recovery time, somewhere in the area of 9 months if a patient is fortunate and aggressive. Woods said initially he hoped to recover from the surgery in 6 months' time.
At the four-month mark, Woods is now able to chip a golf ball. There's no indication from Woods what more he is cleared to do, nor did he offer a timetable for a potential expansion of his golf activities. Woods hasn't played since withdrawing from the Dubai Desert Classic in February after a birdie-free, first-round 77 in the United Arab Emirates. Woods withdrew from planned starts in the U.S., citing discomfort, and made a last-ditch effort to prepare to play in the Masters before choosing to skip that as well. Shortly after announcing a new golf course design at Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri, Woods had the spinal fusion procedure.
Woods has been in the public spotlight since the surgery for less-than-desirable reasons. He was arrested on Memorial Day weekend on suspicion of driving under the influence, with a report later revealing Woods was medicated with a series of heavy painkillers, anxiety medication and legal marijuana. He pleaded not guilty to the DUI charge in exchange for agreeing to enter into a first-time offender program.
Woods' privacy was also invaded through a hack of his ex-girlfriend and champion skier Lindsey Vonn, with nude photos of the pair posted -- then quickly removed under the threat of legal action -- from a website called Celeb Jihad.