Tiger Woods' triumphant return to the golf course in 2018 took a physical toll on the 42-year-old that caught him by surprise.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday (h/t ESPN.com's Bob Harig), Woods described where his body was at by the time the Ryder Cup began at the end of September:
"I was not physically prepared to play that much golf at the end of the year. It's one of those years; it's never been this hot. At every single tournament, it was just stifling. Starting out in D.C. [in June for the Quicken Loans National], then you go to Akron, even the PGA [Championship in St. Louis] was hot for all the days. New York, Boston. It was in the mid-90s at East Lake [in Atlanta].
"It was just hot. It was hard for me to maintain my strength and my weight through all of that. I was exhausted by the time I got to the Ryder Cup. I was worn out mentally, physically, emotionally.''
After finishing ninth in the 2017 Hero World Challenge last December, Woods wrote on his website that he was cautiously optimistic about his ability to handle the upcoming PGA Tour schedule:
"I'm continuing to progress and trying to get strong enough to where I can handle a workload again. I would love to play a full schedule in 2018. What that entails, including back-to-back events, I don't know. I just have to continue to work on my body and game and see where I pan out. I wish I knew where I was going to play and when I was going to play—it's a lot easier to prep for that—but we really don't know. This is all unchartered territory."
Woods wound up playing in 18 tournaments—his most in a season since 2012. He won the Tour Championship in September, his first victory in a PGA Tour event in five years.
One week after the Tour Championship, Woods was shut out in four matches during the Ryder Cup as Team USA lost to Europe, 17.5 to 10.5. He will be back on the golf course starting Thursday for the 2018 Hero World Challenge at the Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas.