Altvater: Tiger Woods to stay away from golf for nowWritten by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
Tiger Woods announced via his website, TigerWoods.com, that his back is feeling better, he needs to work on his game and would return to tournament golf soon.
How soon is the question.
Woods made his 2015 debut two weeks ago at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. He posted 73-82 in the first two rounds and missed the 36-hole cut by a wide margin. The second round 11-over-par 82 included, one triple-bogey, two double-bogeys, six bogeys and a partridge in a pear tree.
It was the worst competitive round of Woods’ career.
He flew home to southern Florida to rest and practice for the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines the next week. On his return flight from Florida back to the west coast, he stopped off in Colorado to watch his significant other Lindsey Vonn compete in the World Championships at Vail.
Woods has won the Farmers Insurance Open seven times, plus he won the 2008 U.S. Open on the same course. Needless to say, he is comfortable playing in San Diego. His old nemesis, the bad back, flared once more during the first round on Thursday. He was visibly in pain and was forced to withdraw after just 11 holes.
After Woods had warmed up and prepared to start his first round at Torrey Pines, fog caused a one hour forty-five minute delay. When Woods’ group, that included, Rickie Fowler and Billy Horschel was able to tee off, his back spasmed and prevented him from finishing his round.
This latest setback has to scare Woods and seriously hamper his quest to surpass Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 career major championships.
Woods did say in his website post: ”This latest injury is not related to my previous surgery. I am having daily physical therapy and I am feeling better every day.”
His play at the Hero World Challenge last December was less than stellar and his poor performance at the Waste Management Phoenix Open has to be embarrassing to the 14-time major champion. He has decided to step away from tour golf until he regains confidence in his ailing golf game.
Woods went on to say: “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. “
Woods has slipped to No. 62 in the Official World Golf Ranking and is not eligible for the World Golf Championship Cadillac Championship at Trump Doral.
The Honda Classic is contested at PGA National Golf Club very near Woods’ home in Jupiter Beach, Florida, in two weeks. The question is whether he will be ready to test his game again.
If he does not compete in either the Honda Classic or the WGC-Cadillac Championship, he is down to a precious few events to enter prior to the Masters at the beginning of April.
The Valspar Championship and the Arnold Palmer Invitational round out the Florida Swing and the tour then moves to Texas for two events before the Masters.
He has withdrawn three times in his last nine events and missed three cuts. His best finish was T-25 at the 2014 WGC-Cadillac Championship.
Woods was the author of the most envied and closely watched golf career for his first 12 years on tour. His last six year, with the exception of 2013, have been a struggle.
American sports fans like to see their heroes succeed after falling to the depths of despair.
If Woods can return and once again win major championships, he is setting himself up to be one the best stories in sports history.
Wonder what the movie rights will be worth for that story? You can bet Mark Steinberg already has his calculator working overtime on that question.
All quotes taken from: http://www.tigerwoods.com/home. Find more golf information from Fred Altvater at NWO Golf Links, nwo.back9mediagroup.com, and on Back 9 Report at http://bit.ly/1lOvJjN.