Tiger Woods said Tuesday he’s “lucky to be alive” following a serious car crash earlier this year that will prevent him from ever playing the game full-time again.
In his first press conference since suffering severe injuries from the Southern California wreck in February, Woods also revealed that he nearly lost a leg and that amputation "was on the table.”
“I’m lucky to be alive, but also to still have the limb," Woods told reporters ahead of his charity tournament, the Hero World Challenge.
"Those are two crucial things. I’m very, very grateful that someone upstairs was taking care of me, that I’m able to not only to be here but to walk without a prosthesis."
In an interview published Monday in Golf Digest, Woods said he'll "never" be a full-time player on the PGA tour again but still hopes to “click off a tournament here or there."
Comparing the sport to scaling the world’s tallest mountain, Woods said that after a previous back operation, he had to “climb Mt. Everest one more time,” adding: “I had to do it, and I did. I don’t think I’ll have the body to climb Mt. Everest, and that’s okay. I can still participate in the game of golf.”
Woods, 45, fractured the tibia and the fibula in his right leg in a crash Feb. 23 in suburban Los Angeles.
Woods was traveling more than 80 mph when he lost control of the Genesis SUV and plowed into a tree. There were no signs that he was impaired, authorities said, and no charges were filed.
Woods, who has won 82 tournaments in a 25-year career, including five Masters championships, was charged with DUI in 2017. Soon afterward, he checked himself into a clinic for prescription drug abuse.
Authorities believe Woods tried to pump the brakes but accidentally gunned the accelerator in the crash in February. The SUV was going 75 mph when it hit the tree and went airborne.
In his meeting with reporters on Tuesday, Woods declined to answer any questions about the crash.
“As far as playing at the tour level, I don’t know when that’s going to happen," Woods told reporters, joking about the shock of seeing his post-crash long game suddenly falling short.
“To see some of my shots fall out of the sky a lot shorter than they used to is a little eye opening. But at least I’m able to do it (play golf at all) again."
In his Golf Digest interview, Woods recalled the most difficult times he faced while at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, wondering if he'd ever walk on two legs again.
At one point, Woods wasn't sure "if I was going to walk out of that hospital with one leg," he told the magazine, adding that he still has "so far to go" to rehabilitate his leg.
"I'm not even at the halfway point yet," he said.