Woods down, in pain, not ready to call it a career

USA TODAY Sports’ Christine Brennan on the evolution of Tiger Woods as his 40th birthday nears.

ALBANY, Bahamas – Tiger Woods was cruising around Albany Golf Course during the second round of the Hero World Challenge with his two favorite players tagging along in the front seat – daughter Sam, 8, and son, Charlie, 6.

Despite attentively watching some of the world’s top golfers, Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott, play that first week of December, the family’s conversation inevitably turned to soccer. The kids, after all, are nuts for the world’s most popular sport.

So the youngsters were asked a simple question: Would you rather be Lionel Messi on the pitch or Tiger Woods on the golf course?

“Messi,” Sam immediately said with a big smile and a giggle.

“Messi,” the more reserved Charlie said. After a slight pause, the youngest Woods chimed in again.

“He’s playing.”

With that stinger, the elder Woods dropped his head in mock humiliation before cracking a huge smile and laughing…

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