Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler have been challenging Tiger Woods to putting contests

By T.J. Auclair
Published on
Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler have been challenging Tiger Woods to putting contests

In his first blog post in months, Tiger Woods covered everything from the recent hurricanes, to his health, to the Presidents Cup and more.

One notable nugget was that while he's only able to take half swings and hit the ball 60 yards at the moment, he's been chipping and putting every day.

In fact, newly minted PGA Champion Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler have been swinging by Tiger's home in Jupiter, Fla., for putting contests.

Wrote Woods:

I’m starting to hit the ball a little further – 60-yard shots. I have not taken a full swing since my back fusion surgery last April, but continue to chip and putt every day.

The latter is paying off. Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler have been dropping by my house for putting contests. Justin also comes over to practice his chipping. It was fun to celebrate his PGA Championship win with him and Rickie, and we had a blast.

Though he is progressing and no longer "living in pain," Woods wouldn't put any timetable on his return to the PGA Tour. He said he's going to take it slow and listen to the advice of his doctors.

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Woods also said he's excited about next week's Presidents Cup at Liberty National, where he'll be serving as an assistant captain under Steve Stricker.

Woods admitted that in his turn as an assistant last year in the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, responsibilities are a lot different than when you're playing.

"My biggest takeaway from the Ryder Cup last year was that as a player, it’s very simple: all you have to do is get ready to play fourball and foursomes, and know who you might play with," he said. "That’s it. As an assistant captain, you’re in charge of the wives, girlfriends, families, caddies and individuals that support the golfers. It’s a lot more organizational work than I was used to as a player."

Woods congratulated Billy Payne on his retirement from chairman duties at Augusta National, Juli Inkster on her winning Solheim Cup team, Maverick McNealy on his 4-0 record in the Walker Cup and friend Rafa Nadal on his U.S. Open tennis victory.

He also noted some of what McNealy will face over the next year since announcing his decision to turn pro.

"The first year is the most difficult because you are at a tremendous disadvantage unless they go to a new golf course," he said. "If not, you’re behind the eight ball learning the course. Not only have most of the guys seen it, they’ve seen it under different conditions, which is a tremendous help. They also know where to eat and stay."