WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — As Tiger Woods prepares to make his return to golf this week at his own tournament — the Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. — after more than two and a half months on the shelf recovering from back surgery, Woods, 38, admitted Tuesday, “I feel old.”
Woods was asked what it’s like to witness so many players who were inspired by him to take up golf, seeing so much success currently on the PGA Tour.
“I feel old,” Woods said, via CSN Washington.
“I’m sorry if the name escapes me, the Chinese kid who qualified for The Masters last year,” struggling to find the name of Guan Tianlang, who, at only 14 years of age, qualified for a Masters invitation in 2013, after winning the 2012 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship. “He was born after I won the tournament. It’s just not cool, ya know?”
Woods first won The Masters at age 21 in April 1997. Tianlang was born 18 months later, in Oct. 1998.
“So that’s what’s coming, the next generation,” Woods continued. “They’re taller, bigger, they’re more physical, just like in all sports across the board, and golf’s no exception. You look at these kids in college; all the long hitters are 6’2″ to 6’4”. They’re just big guys. They can move it out there.
“But the difference is, as you age and as I have aged, I can’t play the way I used to. I was No. 2 in driving distance for a number of years, only behind [John] Daly. Now, if you average over 300 yards, I don’t think you’re in the top ten. It’s changed dramatically, but, just like MJ, I’ve got a fadeaway now.”
“So I’ve had to rely on different parts of my game and strategy, and understanding how the course management skills have improved,” Woods said, “And where to miss it, how to miss it, and then obviously the amount of shots that I’ve learned over the years — not just from my own trial and error, but also from older payers that I’ve talked to — and it’s allowed me to be as consistent as I have been over the course of my career.”
Here’s the video, provided by CSN Washington.