Woods ended 10 months on the sidelines with a share of ninth place on the Albany course in the Bahamas.
But while the 18-time Major winning Nicklaus indicated the TV was on in his Florida house, golf’s ‘Golden Bear’ could not be forced into sitting through coverage of Woods seemingly successful return.
“I wish Tiger well but I am not going to be watching TV coverage of him competing,” said Nicklaus.
“I have watched him play golf for 20-somthing years, so why would I want to watch more. I really don’t want to watch anyone play golf (smiling).
“The television set is always on back home but even when the golf is on TV I would not sit down and watch it.
“But then in the short bit of the coverage from the Bahamas I watched, Tiger seemed to hit the ball okay over there. He seemed to enjoy it and he seemed to be hitting the ball freely, so all I can do is wish him well.
“I didn’t see enough of his swing to compare it to this time last year but in walking by the television at our home I probably only saw about one or two shots and that’s all I saw.
“So, the swing I saw in that short time looked good but then it looked like the swing of someone who did not want to hurt his back.”
Nicklaus was commenting ahead of teeing-up Saturday alongside his grandson, Gary Nicklaus Jnr and the start to the two-day Father-and-Son Challenge being staged on the Grand Lakes course in Orlando.
Nicklaus, who turns 78 on January 21st, has won the event before with various members of his family but admits ahead of this year’s event he would have played just 12 rounds this year and confessed that Wednesday was the first occasion since 2005 he has actually gone out to a practice range and worked on his game in readiness for an event.
“I just don’t play that much any more and I actually went out and practiced, and when I say practice I mean to go out and actually work on all aspects of my game, on Wednesday and that is the first time I have done that since 2005,” he said.
Nicklaus, and also due to a combination of nagging injuries, has also cut back on his tennis.
“I had an MRI on my right shoulder and I have been informed I had two labral tears in my shoulder and I’ve got arthritis and tendonitis and a large cyst on the head of my humurous bone in my elbow but other than that I’m perfect,” he said smiling.
“But that’s just wear-and-tear over the years in playing golf, playing tennis along with a lot of fly fishing and throwing a lot of balls and my right arm is just worn out.
“The good thing is that I can play golf with it and it doesn’t bother me down here (grabbing the lower part of his right arm) but it does up here doing this (motioning to throwing a tennis ball in the air for a serve).”
And after his media commitments Nicklaus joked, and looking a big gathering of fans waiting for his autograph: “Well I better go and run the gauntlet.”