Six-time major winner Sir Nick Faldo says returning to tournament golf will prove Tiger Woods’ “saviour”.
Woods, 34, who has won 14 majors, has not appeared in public since crashing his car last November and consequently admitting to “infidelity”.
“He needs to get back on the course and start playing because that will be his saviour,” Faldo told BBC Sport.
“I’d have thought he’d be dying to get back, I don’t believe he’ll give up the opportunity to play in the majors.”
British golf great Faldo was knighted for his services to the sport last year after a glittering 30-year career.
Married three times, his own private life was splashed across the front pages of many newspapers in the mid-1990s when he split from his second wife.
Now a regular golf analyst on US television, Faldo added that Woods’ “whole world has changed”.
He said: “His world used to start at the parking lot, the cameras would pick him up there, he’d have a round of golf and he’d say goodbye to the cameras when he left the parking lot.
“Now it’s going to be 24/7, 100 per cent scrutiny. I’m sure he’s trying to prepare for that the best he can.”
Faldo, who won three Open Championships and three Masters in a glittering career, said the latter tournament in April would be the ideal place to make a comeback.
“There’s still two months until the Masters and I would have thought that would be a good place to sneak in early,” said Faldo.
“He could have a week’s preparation away from everybody, and obviously Augusta is the most secure event and he’d have a relatively free run.”
Faldo is the latest golfer to entreat Woods to return to the game.
World number two Phil Mickelson has urged Woods to come back to the PGA Tour saying, “The game of golf needs him”.
US golf legend Jack Nicklaus said Woods would find it harder to break his record of 18 majors if he does not compete this year, while on Wednesday five-time Open champion Tom Watson urged Woods to “show some humility” when he does finally choose to return. (BBC Sport)