Tiger Woods hasn’t played in a PGA Tour event since August 2015, when he finished tied for 10th at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, NC, due to a back injury. Woods has had three surgeries on his back since March 2014, the most recent coming last year.
On Tuesday, the PGA Championship announced that Tiger had withdrawn from the final major of the season and would be replaced by Harold Varner III. This marks the first time in Woods’ career that he will miss all four majors in one season. The 2015 PGA Championship was the last major that Tiger played in, and he missed the cut by posting a four-over par through the first two rounds of the tournament.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) July 19, 2016
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg also announced in an email to the Golf Channel on Tuesday that Tiger will not play in another tournament the rest of the season.
“Continuing to make progress, but simply not ready for PGA. Will not play in the ’15/’16 season and will continue to rehab and work hard to then assess when he starts play for the ’16/’17 season.”
— Newsday Sports (@NewsdaySports) July 19, 2016
Woods is currently second in PGA Tour career victories list with 79, trailing only Sam Snead’s 82. Tiger is also second in PGA Tour majors victories with 14, sitting behind Jack Nicklaus’ career record of 18. At one point, it not only seemed inevitable that Woods would break both records but absolutely smash them on his way to the becoming the greatest golfer of all time.
That all changed on Thanksgiving night of 2009 when Tiger Woods’ now ex-wife Elin Nordegren found out that Woods had been cheating on her for some time. Nordegren chased Tiger out of their Orlando mansion with a golf club, and the ordeal eventually ended with Woods in the street, unconscious, bloody, and snoring after crashing his Escalade, according to the New York Post.
Since that fateful night nearly seven years ago, Woods has a total of eight PGA Tour wins and zero major victories. It seems as if as Woods’ personal life came crashing down, so did his golf game. Tiger never played with the same swagger or the same confidence that had come to be associated with his game after that incident.
— Denver Post Sports (@DPostSports) July 19, 2016
Despite the injuries and the off-the-course issues, Tiger said back in May that he believed that both the PGA Tour career victories and majors records were still “attainable,” according to The Big Lead. Maybe six or eight months go by, Woods completely heals, and comes back for one last dominating run, but that would seem to be a long shot, especially when he makes comments like he did earlier this year to Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post.
Svrluga asked Tiger Woods if he could envision himself returning to Congressional as a host like Jack Nicklaus does at the Memorial.
Tiger: “Mmmmm-hmmmm,” he said, lips pursed. “Yep.”
Really? How and why?
Tiger: “Ask me that question later this year,” he said. “I’ll have a different answer.”
Tiger: “You’ll see,” he said, and he smiled.
First of all, did Woods go to LeBron James’ school of cryptic sayings to the media? This little conversation with Svrluga leaves a lot to the imagination. It could certainly be construed as a guy who may be on the verge of retirement, but at the same time, Tiger could announce at any moment that he’s given up on golf, but he hasn’t.
In short, it’s entirely possible that we’ve seen the end of Tiger Woods, but it’s also conceivable that he could return healthy next year. Either way, I don’t believe anyone on the planet, even Tiger, knows what the future holds for him on the golf course.
[Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images]