Tiger Woods returns to golf with big hopes, realistic expectations and no pain for the first time in nearly two years.

Woods made his first public appearance in golf shoes Tuesday since he walked gingerly off the course at Doral on March 9 with back pain that first presented itself in August 2012. He had back surgery to alleviate a pinched nerve on March 31.

Asked for an opening comment on where he is with his recovery, Woods smiled and said, "I'm right here."

"It's been an interesting road," Woods said. "This has been quite a tedious little process, but been one where I got to a point where I can play competitive golf again. And it's pretty exciting."

Woods said the British Open was his target all along, and he might not be playing the Quicken Loans National this week at Congressional in Bethesda, Maryland, if it did not benefit his foundation. That's not to suggest he is coming back too early. Woods said he has been in constant contact with doctors and trainers as he slowly expanded his swing from chipping and putting to wedges, all the way up the bag to the driver.

Woods is famous for saying he doesn't enter any tournament if he doesn't think he can win. That much hasn't changed for Congressional, where he has won twice.

"Expectations don't change," Woods said. "That's the ultimate goal. It's just that it's going to be a little bit harder this time. I just haven't had the amount of prep and reps that I would like. But I'm good enough to play, and I'm going to give it a go."

  • Woods and other members of the Presidents Cup team from last year visited President Barack Obama at the White House.

    College baseball

    Virginia knocked out first-round draft pick Tyler Beede in the seventh, and the Cavaliers evened the College World Series finals with a 7-2 victory over Vanderbilt in Omaha, Nebraska. The teams will play a winner-take-all Game 3 on Wednesday night.

    Miscellany

    Team New Zealand has confirmed it will challenge for the America's Cup when sailing's oldest trophy is next contested in the United States in 2017. New Zealand lost 9-8 to Oracle Team USA after leading 8-1 in the last Cup final in San Francisco last year.

  • A judge in Boston scheduled a tentative May trial date for former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez in the 2012 drive-by shootings of two men, and his lawyers asked a judge to issue a gag order because of intense media coverage of the murder case.

  • The San Diego Chargers agreed to a deal with former Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers. Kansas City released Flowers earlier this month.

  • Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike each had 20 points and 11 rebounds as the Los Angeles Sparks beat the Seattle Storm 65-57 in a WNBA game.