The first photos of Tiger Woods cradling his new baby boy have been released amid speculation that the injured world number one could announce a return to competitive golf "any day now."
Charlie Axel Woods was born on Sunday, February 8, and is the second child for Woods and his wife Elin. He’s pictured here with his 20-month-old sister Sam their dogs Yogi and Taz, who is seen planting a well-timed lick on Tiger’s face. Woods had been waiting for the birth of his second child before making public any decision about a return to the Tour in 2009. His long-time caddie Steve Williams told Television New Zealand an announcement could come “any day now,” and that Woods could return to competitive golf “in the next few weeks.” “He’s probably 95 percent of the way there. He was waiting for the birth of his second child which came about last week so he’s ready to go, just needs a little bit more walking,” Williams told TVNZ. “He hasn’t been able to walk too well. But anytime in the next few weeks he’s going to tee it up.” Williams said Woods “definitely” wants to play a couple of tournaments before the U.S. Masters at Augusta in early April.
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The world number one has been out of the game since winning his 14th major title at the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines last June. He underwent reconstructive surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and a week later ruled himself out for the rest of the 2008 season. Williams told TVNZ that Tiger had been practicing six hours a day, and that the only concession he has made to his injury was to adjust his swing. “He’s had to modify his swing a little bit to accommodate his knee but the guy always finds a way,” Williams said. He added: “Nine months out of the game after a major operation is a long time. But he’s a hell of a competitor and one of the best we’ve ever seen in this game so I would suspect that he’ll carry right on, but time will tell that.” Last month, Tiger issued a statement saying that he was practicing and making progress towards at a return to the PGA tour. He said after January 1, he started hitting longer irons and his driver, although was not swinging as hard as he could, adding “I’m working towards that goal.” Earlier this month he predicted the new addition to the family would make it a “hectic Spring” and said that he’d be taking it “tournament-to-tournament.”