Tiger Woods says his storied quest to chase down Jack Nicklaus' record 18 major championship wins will require a delicate balancing act with his ageing body during the next few years.
Woods captured the imagination of the sporting world in April when he bagged an emotional, come-from-behind victory at The Masters for his fifth win at Augusta National and 15th major title.
It leaves Nicklaus' 18 majors in sight for Woods and his mission resumes this week at the US PGA Championship at New York's Bethpage Black course.
But Woods has not played competitive golf since sending 'Tigermania' into overdrive at The Masters.
He "was not ready" and withdrew from the Wells Fargo event earlier in May.
Although four-time PGA Championship winner Woods has a rich history at Bethpage, many have questioned whether he will be sharp enough for the year's second major – which is being held in May for the first time since 1949.
But Woods, a winner of 81 PGA Tour titles, says capturing more major wins will require resisting the urge to play frequently.
"I need to give myself the best chance to win the events I play in, and sometimes that can be taking more breaks," Woods said.
The 43-year-old Woods, whose four back surgeries include having spinal fusion in 2017, conceded that dominating golf the way he did during the late 1990s and 2000s is unlikely.
"Whether I'm dominant or not going forward, that remains to be seen," he said.
"I can't spend four-hour periods on the range every day working explosively on every part of my game; those days are gone.
"The body doesn't bounce back quite as well, so I've got to be aware of that. It's the fickle nature of having my back fused."
So how can Woods find an edge among golf's big-hitting and younger stars such as Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy?
"I end up spending a lot of time on my short game; pitching and putting, wedging," Woods said.
Woods' only public appearances recently have been at the White House, where he accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Donald Trump, as well as a one-day reconnaissance mission to Bethpage last week.
But Woods insists his game is ready for the PGA Championship having spent considerable time practising at his home base of Jupiter, Florida.
"Coming here is a different story; I've put in the time and I feel rested and ready," he said.
Woods is among the betting favourites at the PGA Championship, given his resurgence and history – he won the 2002 US Open at Bethpage and also tied sixth there in the 2009 US Open.
"I'm excited to get out there on the course," Woods said of the Long Island course, which will measure 7,400 yards this week.
"This is not only a big golf course, but it's going to be a long week. This could be a hell of a championship."
- Evin Priest, Australian Associated Press