Tiger Woods last night admitted for the first time that he may never play competitive golf again.

The former world No 1, who is continuing his rehabilitation from a series of back surgeries, revealed the possible scenario on the eve of the Presidents Cup in New York, where he is a US vice-captain.

Asked if he could envisage the end of his playing career, the 14-time major winner replied: “Yeah, definitely.”

He added that although he was optimistic about a return, he acknowledged there was a chance it might not happen due to the ravages his ailing frame has suffered.

“I don’t know what my future holds,” he said. “I didn’t even know I would be able to be here.”

He said that he was unable to ride in a golf cart up until recently and was unable to drive a car. “But that’s gone now,” he added.

“But does anyone in their 40s feel as good as they did in their 20s? Seriously?"