KUALA LUMPUR: US Masters champion Danny Willett on Tuesday said he hoped his “hero” Tiger Woods could get back to full fitness after injury halted his latest comeback.
Willett warned that age was not on the side of the 14-time major-winner, who pulled out of last week’s Dubai Desert Classic with a back spasm after the first round.
“He (Tiger) knows what he can do and how good he’s been,” Willett said ahead of Malaysia’s Maybank Championship, which starts on Thursday.
“Unfortunately he’s 41 now, and golf is not a good game for your body at that age. It takes a toll when you have travelled as much as he has around the world, it’s difficult to deal with.”
“Hopefully he can stay fit, and get his swing to work to his fitness levels,” added Willett.
Concerns remain high over the fitness of Woods, who only returned to action in December after a 16-month absence. Willett, who also suffers from a back problem, said he wanted Woods competing again.
“For myself and the other guys, he was the hero growing up when he was winning all those majors. Now he’s back, and he’s back playing,” said the Englishman.
“I hope that he stays fit and can get back to competing again, because that’s where everyone wants to see him at.
“Every time he’s back, the whole event has got a different buzz about it. It’s good to have him back.”
Besides 15th-ranked Willett, South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel, Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Marcus Fraser of Australia are also playing the $3 million Championship at Kuala Lumpur’s Saujana Golf and Country Club.