Back surgery has given returning Woods a fresh perspective

Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:43am EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

HOYLAKE England (Reuters) - Tiger Woods's back operation in March robbed the former world number one of a quarter of the golf season but at least it has given him a fresh outlook on his career.

The 14-times major champion will be making his second competitive appearance in four months at this week's British Open and Woods is just happy to be back at the venue of his memorable 2006 victory at Royal Liverpool."With this particular injury with my back I didn't want to do anything," Woods told reporters on Tuesday. "I couldn't get out of bed and I couldn't move around the house.

"That made me appreciate just how fortunate I was to be able to play at that high level for the better part of 17 years. It made me appreciate that a lot more."

Woods famously won the 2008 U.S. Open, the most recent of his major triumphs, virtually on one leg due to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) problems that eventually led to surgery.

"When I had no ACL and my leg was pretty trashed I could actually still go out there and play," explained the 38-year-old American. "I couldn't do that with this back injury.

"I couldn't actually enjoy my life...the daily things of just moving around. It wasn't a whole lot of fun."

Woods missed the cut on his comeback at the Quicken Loans National event in Maryland last month but he is delighted just to be pain-free these days.

"The people who have had my surgery, they've all said the same thing. It changes your whole life, it just takes away all the pain," said the world number seven.   Continued...

Tiger Woods of the U.S. listens to questions during a news conference ahead of the British Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, northern England July 15, 2014.  REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton