NASSAU, Bahamas - When asked if he could name all 206 bones in the body, Tiger Woods didn't miss a beat in cracking - pun intended - a joke.
"I know of the ones that hurt, OK?" he said, breaking - pun intended - into a smile.
Woods, 46, announced his latest ailment in a tweet on Monday, citing plantar fasciitis in his right foot as the reason he will be unable to compete this week at the Hero World Challenge, where he also serves as tournament host and his foundation is the main beneficiary.
"It was a tough decision just because I want to play. I like playing, I like competing, but unfortunately, I can hit the golf ball and hit whatever shot you want, I just can't walk," he explained during a pre-tournament press conference on Tuesday. "I've had a few setbacks during the year that I still was able to somehow play through, but this one I just can't. Only time can heal this one and stay off my feet and get a lot of treatment done."
The more Woods ramped up his practice ahead of the tournament, the pain in his foot worsened.
"The worst thing you can do is walk, and I was walking more and more and more, trying to get my legs ready for this event, and I just kept making it worse," Woods said. "So had to shut it down and unfortunately, be the host of the event and Ranger Rick out here."
During his remarks, Woods noted that he has undergone two more surgical procedures this year, but when pressed for more basic information such as what the surgeries were for and when they happened, he demurred and only would confirm that they happened this year. (Woods did confirm that he was under the weather during the British Open in July, but that he never tested positive for COVID-19.) He also confirmed that the plantar fasciitis is related to the other injuries to his foot that he suffered in a one-car accident in February 2021.
Woods said he will require a month or two of rest to allow his foot to heal properly.
"It was the ramping up process that did it," he said. "It's a balancing act, right? How hard do you push it to make progress while not pushing it too hard to go off the edge and you set yourself back two, three days, and that's been the balancing act the whole year. And trying to do that, get ready for this event, I did a lot of beach walks trying to simulate the sand out here and my foot just did not like that very much."
Tiger Woods tips his hat to the crowd after teeing off on the 18th hole during the second round of the 150th Open Championship golf tournament at St. Andrews Old Course. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Woods competed in three majors this season - the Masters, where he finished T-47, the PGA Championship, where he withdrew after the third round, and the British Open, where he missed the cut - and he said he exceeded his own expectations, which were to simply play in the British at St. Andrews in Scotland, "the Home of Golf," potentially for the last time. Despite the pain in his foot, Woods remains confident that he can play in The Match, a 12-hole exhibition scheduled for Dec. 10 pitting Woods and Rory McIlroy against Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, as well as the PNC Championship, a two-person team event with son Charlie.
"This will be a tough week. The Father-Son will be a very easy week, Charlie will just hit all the shots and I'll just get the putts out of the hole, so pretty easy there," Woods said. "But other than that, in 'The Match' we're playing in, we're flying in carts."
Woods reiterated his stance that he won't request to use a cart at a sanctioned PGA Tour event, noting that the PNC Championship, where he's used a cart in the past, is sanctioned by the rules of the PGA Tour Champions.
As for his future plans, Woods made it clear that his schedule in 2023 will be - at best - limited once again.
"The goal is to play just the major championships and maybe one or two more. That's it. I mean, that's - physically that's all I can do," he said. "I don't have much left in this leg, so gear up for the biggest ones and hopefully, you know, lightning catches in a bottle and I'm up there in contention with a chance to win and hopefully I remember how to do that."
Tiger Woods is suffering from plantar fasciitis. What exactly is it? And what's the treatment?
Story originally appeared on GolfWeek