Tiger Woods returns to professional competition for the first in five months when he tees up this week at the Memorial Tournament in Dublin. Woods played a practice round this morning and told reporters in a virtual press conference the biggest change will be the lack of energy without fans.
"There's nothing to feed off of energy wise," Woods said. "You make a big putt or a big par or a big chip or hit a hell of a shot, there's no one there. That's one of the more interesting things going forward. I think this is going to set up for not just in the short term but for the foreseeable future for sure. But it's so different not having the energy of the crowd. For me watching at home as a spectator and one that has played this golf course and heard the energy that the fans bring to these holes and these situations - not to have that is very different, very stark really."
Woods said he's comfortable with the protections, screening, and testing the PGA Tour has put in place. He acknowledged there's still a risk by playing, but said it's one he's willing to take. Tournament golf returned June 11. The Memorial had been set to be the first tournament with limited fans, but a spike in coronavirus cases prompted that to change.
The five-time Memorial winner said he feels good physically and has been able to train and practice during the pandemic. He also played a lot of tennis with his kids.