(Reuters) – Tiger Woods seemed “very healthy” when he attended a dinner party at the home of Jack Nicklaus, the 18-times major champion said on Sunday.
Nicklaus and wife Barbara hosted the gathering for United States Ryder Cup hopefuls at their Florida home on Thursday, while the players were in town for the PGA Tour Honda Classic.
Woods, who has not played competitively since August, was there in his capacity as a Ryder Cup assistant captain. “He looked very good,” the 76-year-old Nicklaus told reporters on Sunday.
“He looked very healthy and he really misses playing. So that’s good. “He says he was feeling great, and he was able to stand over a putt and chip now without having any leg pain and so forth. We didn’t really talk a whole lot about it.”
Despite the upbeat comments, Nicklaus said a return to competition was not imminent for Woods, who underwent back surgery in September and had a follow-up procedure the following month.
There was a media report recently that Woods had suffered a setback from his most recent surgeries, and could not move well.
Woods responded by sending out a video that showed him smoothly swinging a nine-iron in a golf simulator. “He doesn’t have a timetable for returning or anything,” Nicklaus said.
Woods, 40, has won 14 major championships, second only to Nicklaus.
(Reporting by Tim Wharnsby in Toronto; Editing by Andrew Both)