Despite not winning an event so far this year, Tiger Woods said Thursday that he considers 2018 one of his best seasons as a pro given the expectations as he returned from his fourth back surgery.
“This has been one of my best years, considering that I didn’t know what I was going to do — I just didn’t have a clue,” Woods told reporters from TPC Boston, a day before the start of the Dell Technologies Championship. “The fact that I’ve been able to make it this far is very exciting to me. I have a bright future ahead of me because at this point last year, that wasn’t the case, didn’t know.”
Woods, 42, remains stuck on 79 career PGA Tour victories, but he’s engineered five top-six finishes and has twice been runner-up, including at the PGA Championship earlier this month. He is in the middle of what is likely his busiest playing stretch in nine years, which could include seven events in nine weeks by the time it’s over.
He said he’s now focused on conserving energy as the season winds to a close, as he never expected to have such a busy schedule.
“The hardest part is I didn’t have any inkling of what this year might be,” Woods said. “Normally if I have a good offseason or feel healthy, I can reasonably expect what might happen the following year.
“This year was a complete unknown. I didn’t know if I was going to play. I didn’t know how many events I was going to play, what swing I was going to use. And a lot of adjustments on the fly.”
Woods has already qualified for the third FexEx Cup playoff event, next week’s BMW Championship near Philadelphia, and needs just a decent performance in the next two weeks to qualify for the Tour Championship for the first time in five years. The only two-time FedEx Cup champion, he currently sits 25th in the standings after slipping five spots with a 40th-place finish at The Northern Trust last week.
Friday will mark his first time playing at TPC Boston since 2013, but Woods has been relatively successful at the course, winning in 2006 and finishing runner-up twice. He also has a third-place finish and three other top-11 results.
Though he hasn’t been able to claim a title yet this season, Woods isn’t forcing it.
“The thing for me is to just to keep getting there in the mix, keep getting there on the back nine with a chance to win,” he said. “... It’s just a matter of giving myself enough opportunities. I’m not going to win them all. In order to win them, you’ve got to be there. And I’ve been there enough this year and obviously want more of it.”
—Field Level Media