The most surprising part about Tiger Woods' press conference Tuesday at the AT&T National was that he showed up in the closest thing to a full beard he may have ever sported.
The second-biggest surprise was that he's decided he no longer wants to play in pain.
Speaking before the event at Aronimink Golf Club in Newton Square, Pa. that benefits his foundation, Woods said he's hit no golf balls except for putting since he pulled out of the Players Championship after 9 holes on May 12 with left knee and Achilles injuries. That would seem to put his status in jeopardy for the British Open at Royal St. George's July 14-17.
Woods has already missed the U.S. Open and said last week he would sit out the AT&T.
Woods said Tuesday he injured himself at the Players and it was a 50-50 call for him to participate in the first place. He said he did so because it was a big event and he'd played hurt before, even with a completely ruptured ACL suffered in 2007.
He said surgery, including a possible replacement of his left knee, has not been discussed with his doctors.
"For a number of years I've been hurt more than people could possibly understand and I've won,'' Woods said. "But I keep setting myself back. You play hurt, you play in pain, that's part of playing sports. But unfortunately I pushed too hard and hurt myself. I'm being smarter this time.''
Woods said he learned his lesson at the Players.
"I'm setting no timetable, which is very difficult for me,'' he said. "I'm not coming back until I'm 100 percent and I'm ready. I don't know when that is going to be.''
Woods said he's out of the walking boot and getting around without crutches, but his workouts are limited to an hour maximum, sometimes merely very intense sessions of 20 to 30 minutes. His goal is to strengthen the knee and Achilles and get more explosive.
"It's been arduous, but I've done this before,'' he said.
Asked if he would be surprised if he didn't play at all in 2011, Woods said, "I would be very surprised because I'm progressing. I haven't gone under the knife.''