Nicklaus backs Woods to continue playing career

Tiger Woods with Jack Nicklaus on the Swilcan bridge at St Andrews in 2022. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Jack Nicklaus is in no doubt about Tiger Woods ongoing commitment to the game of golf despite the 15-time Major winner’s injury plagued attempts at a comeback.

Woods went under the knife for the umpteenth time in his career last month for “a subtalar fusion procedure to address post-traumatic arthritis from his previous talus fracture”.

The surgery was carried out by Dr. Martin O’Malley at HSS Sports Medicine Institute in New York City and deemed a success, though no timeframe has been set for Woods’ recovery.


“He wouldn’t be having the operations if he wasn’t interested in wanting to continue to play,” Nicklaus told reporters ahead of his appearance in the Greats of Golf exhibition.

“He’s a very motivated and dedicated young man to continue to play the game of golf.”

Nicklaus, now 83, is no doubt the man Woods strives to catch by putting himself through this rehab, but he still sits three Majors shy of the Golden Bear’s incredible 18-Major hall.

And while the competitive pair are the two true greats of the game, Nicklaus revealed recent conversations with Woods that highlight just how far Tiger still has to come to have any chance of ever reaching his record.

“I don’t know a whole lot about what he’s been through,” Nicklaus said via Golfweek.

“He’s showed a lot of guts and courage to play and try to be part of what’s going on with the way he’s been. He’s actually swinging pretty well; he just can’t walk.”

“We talk quite a bit. He said, ‘I’m really playing well. I’m hitting the ball great. My short game’s great. My putting’s good.’ He said, ‘I just can’t walk.’ And he says, ‘If it helps where I can walk, I’m willing to do it.’”

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