Tiger Woods’s eventual return to golf has been much discussed — and he’s eyeing 2023 to do just that, a source tells PEOPLE.
More than a year after the 46-year-old golfer was seriously injured in a single-car accident, he is finally feeling better and looking to his future, the member of his team says.
“His pain has gone down tremendously,” the source explains. “He has moments, but he’s really not in a lot of pain anymore. The pain he has can be managed.”
As his pain has lessened, Woods’ ambition has returned — and he’s practicing and planning his return to the PGA.
“He’s golfing, he’s practicing, he’s really working on the sport,” the source says. “And he’s very determined to return to the game as soon as it makes sense. He has physical therapy, but he’s got an almost full range of motion. He has really overcome a lot of his injuries.”
Woods has been spending a lot of his downtime with his kids: Sam, 14, and Charlie, 13. He regularly attends Sam’s soccer games and Charlie’s golf tournaments. In fact, he just appeared alongside them both when he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Golfer Justin Thomas, Woods’ close friend, spoke about the athlete’s recovery while appearing on the No Laying Up podcast back in December 2021.
“He’s doing well, especially all things considered,” Thomas said. “He’s able to be a dad somewhat again, which is most important.”
But Woods is still envisioning his return to the sport and hoping that he can break more golfing records in the future.
“He’s aiming for the 2023 Masters Tournament,” the source tells PEOPLE. “And he has a new goal: to be the oldest winner at the Masters. Jack Nicklaus won when he was 46. Tiger will be 47 next year when he competes, and that’s the newest record he is going for. He’ll stop at nothing to accomplish it.”
And those close to Woods say that he’ll be stronger than ever when he returns.
“Tiger was known for his focus before, but now he’s learned to focus through terrible pain,” the source says. “And now that the pain has mostly faded, that focus is still there. He’s going to be a force when he returns to the game. He’s going to dominate.”