AUGUSTA, Ga. — As expected, Tiger Woods didn’t stay long at the annual Golf Writers Association of America awards dinner on Wednesday night. And for good reason. The 14-time major champ had a pretty important tee time the following morning at Augusta National. But in his limited time at the lovely Savannah Rapids Pavilion, Woods made quite an impression with an eloquent, gracious speech. And surprisingly, he even broke some news.
Woods was on hand to receive the GWAA’s Ben Hogan Award for a golfer who “has overcome a physical handicap or serious injury to remain active in golf.” He noted how honored he was to win an award named after “Mr. Hogan,” he profusely thanked the writers in the room for their kind words (seriously), and confirmed Nick Faldo’s story that Tiger told him he “was done” during the 2017 Masters Champions Dinner.
“At the time, I was done,” Woods said on Wednesday night. “Golf was not in my near future, or even in my distant future.”
Woods said he had to take a nerve blocker just to be at Augusta National for the Danny Willett-hosted affair. Then he revealed it was a post-dinner transatlantic flight that very night to England that began his latest comeback to competitive golf.
According to Tiger, he flew to England for a consultation on his injured back. It was there where Woods’ plans to see Dr. Richard Guyer at the Texas Back Institute for a back fusion surgery were finalized. Two weeks later, Woods underwent the procedure.
And remarkably, just two years later, Tiger returned to Tuesday’s Champions Dinner as the highest-ranked golfer in the room.