Tiger will not return until game 'tournament-ready'
February 11, 2015
By Helen Ross and Brian Wacker , PGATOUR.COM
- February 11, 2015
- Tiger Woods withdrew from Farmers Insurance during Round 1 after 11 holes. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
On the heels of his third withdrawal in his last eight starts, Tiger Woods announced Wednesday that his schedule will remain in flux until he can get his game "tournament-ready."
Woods lasted 11 holes into the first round at last week's Farmers Insurance Open before pain in his lower back became too great and he decided to withdraw. He was 2 over at the time.
The previous week, Woods missed the cut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open by 12 shots. He shot an 82 in the second round at TPC Scottsdale, which was his highest score ever as a pro.
Woods had not announced his schedule beyond Torrey Pines. He has played The Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, in each of the past three years. Woods, a resident of nearby Jupiter, said he would like to play the tournament, which is scheduled for Feb. 26-March 1, but not unless his game is in good shape.
His next start isn't certain, but Woods said he expects to play again "very soon."
He released the following statement on his website:
"The last two weeks have been very disappointing to me, especially Torrey, because I never want to withdraw. Unfortunately, lately injuries have made that happen too often.
"This latest injury is not related to my previous surgery. I am having daily physical therapy and I am feeling better every day.
"Right now, I need a lot of work on my game, and to still spend time with the people that are important to me. My play, and scores, are not acceptable for tournament golf. Like I've said, I enter a tournament to compete at the highest level, and when I think I'm ready, I'll be back. Next week I will practice at Medalist and at home getting ready for the rest of the year. I am committed to getting back to the pinnacle of my game. I'd like to play The Honda Classic -- it's a tournament in my hometown and it's important to me -- but I won't be there unless my game is tournament-ready. That's not fair to anyone. I do, however, expect to be playing again very soon.
"I want to thank the fans in Phoenix and San Diego. They were amazing. I greatly appreciate everyone's support."
Woods' good friend and former college teammate Notah Begay, reacting to the news, said on the Golf Channel that, "I don't think this is an issue of physical limitations, it's an issue of trying to get the short game thing worked out."
Woods' most recent spate of issues began after he had microdiscectomy surgery last March to alleviate pain caused by a pinched nerve in his neck.
He soon returned to competition at the Quicken Loans National he hosts. He missed the cut there and finished 69th at The Open Championship, which was his worst 72-hole result in a major. He admitted at that point he had come back too early.
That much was evident two weeks later when he withdrew during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, citing lower-back pain. He came back at the PGA Championship the following week but looked hobbled in the second round, missed the cut and failed to qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs.
Woods then announced he was taking some time off and didn't play again until the Hero World Challenge, where he finished last. Woods also switched swing coaches during the break, leaving Sean Foley and hiring Chris Como.