Cook says Woods is 'going at it full go, full shots'
By Tod Leonard
February 15, 2009, 10:53 p.m.
John Cook says his good buddy, Tiger Woods, rehabbing from last June’s knee surgery, is ready to hit the PGA Tour anytime he wants. He played three consecutive days with him a week ago at their home course of Isleworth in suburban Orlando, and was extremely impressed.
"Tiger's going at it full go, full shots, full drivers," Cook told Florida’s Sun-Sentinel over the weekend while playing in the Champions Tour’s Allianz Championship. "That includes one of those, 'I'm going to hit this one as hard as I can hit it,' one of those 'I'm going to drive it onto the 16th green at Doral' swings."
Some of the swings were so ferocious, Cook was worried about Woods hurting himself.
"I'm like, 'Are you OK?,'" Cook said. "He says, 'I'm fine, never better.'"
"Physically, Tiger works so hard, and he's as strong as you've ever seen him," Cook said. "Now it's getting into walking shape. He said the only thing he's anxious about is getting out and doing it for 72 holes. He's hit a lot of balls, monitored how his knee feels the next day, and, so far so good. "
Cook said he didn’t ask Woods when he would return to action.
"He's on schedule, my guess is probably sometime in March, but I don't know," Cook said. "I didn't think it was my business to ask him, and he would have told me if he wanted me to know. I would anticipate Doral or Bay Hill."
It has been speculated that Woods could return as early as next week’s Accenture Match Play Championship in Tucson, Ariz. The CA Championship will be played at Doral March 12-15, and the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill is March 26-29.
"I think the break is the best thing that could have happened to him," said another good friend, Mark O'Meara. "It gave him eight months away from the game, a chance to connect with his daughter (Sam) and see the birth of his son.
"He handles the press just great, but being out of the public eye might not be a bad thing for him. He's hungry. I think he will come back better than ever."