Woods’ recovery from surgery ‘ahead of schedule’

Former rugby players Mike Tindall and Brian O'Driscoll playing golf with Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods said his return to full fitness is ahead of schedule as he recovers from a knee operation.

The world number 10, who ended an 11-year wait for his 15th major in April, had arthroscopic surgery in August to repair cartilage damage.

The 43-year-old American is now in Japan to play in the US PGA Tour’s inaugural ZOZO Championship.

“I’m probably a week early,” he said. “It’s been nice to be able to squat down and read putts.”

Woods added: “My season had ended a little bit earlier than I had expected. I had the procedure a little bit early and got ahead of it.”

Prior to the ZOZO Championship, which begins on Thursday, Woods competed alongside Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama at The Challenge: Japan Skins.

The exhibition match – where players compete for holes