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Woods unsure over return date

Tiger Woods still does not know if he will play at The Open in two weeks' time.

The former world number one, who has been out since mid-May with knee and Achilles injuries, said today: "I will come back when I'm 100pc. I don't know when that's going to be.

"I'm just playing it by ear right now. I've not hit any balls yet.

"I want to be out there playing, but I'm not ready yet."

Woods had hoped to return at the US Open a fortnight ago, but pulled out of that tournament and this week's AT&T National in Pennsylvania.

The 35-year-old continued: "It was a borderline call to play The Players. I wasn't quite 100pc and I hurt myself there.

"There's not going to be a 50-50 call this time. I would go over there (to The Open) to show. I would go to win the tournament.

"I need to get my body ready where I can practice and play and apply it. But I'm 35, I'm not 65 - I've still got some years ahead of me and I feel my best years are still ahead of me. Tom Watson nearly won The Open at 59."

On his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus' 18-major record Woods, who has been stuck on 14 for over three years now, said: "I've still got some time. We are about the same pace I believe in years on Tour and age.

"I feel excited about what my future holds."

Woods does not disagree with the widely-held view that new US Open champion Rory McIlroy's swing is better than his was at the same age.

But he pointed out that he made changes when he was 23 that led to him achieving an unprecedented clean sweep of all four majors in 2000 and 2001.

"What Rory did was cool to watch. He had softer conditions and he was able to go low, but he was able to continue pushing it and that's fun. He was very impressive."

Woods is having treatment twice and sometimes three times a day and has also spoken to coach Sean Foley about a game plan when he is fit to play again.

"I can't wait to do it - that's the fun part. I just need to get to that point," he said.

"There no surgery required at all (he has had four operations already on his knee). There's been no discussion on surgery.

"I've played injured before and been successful at it (he won the 2008 US Open with two leg fractures and an injured knee). I didn't think this was anywhere near that, but it's time to have a different approach. I'm setting no timetable - I'm going to learn my lesson and apply it.

"I'm being smarter this time. I broke my leg and still played - that's not exactly smart."

© Press Association