Golf fans everywhere were disappointed today when Tiger Woods announced he will not be playing in this year’s U.S. Open.
The U.S. Open is from June 12th to June 15th at Pinehurst No.2, which is where Woods tied for third in 1999 and was runner-up in 2005.
Woods withdrew because he is still recovering from back surgery that has prevented him from playing golf for the last three months. Tiger had microdiscectomy surgery to relieve a pinched nerve on March 31st.
This will be the second U.S. Open and sixth major he has missed because of an injury over the last six years. Woods has always placed a special emphasis on winning the majors, and this setback is sure to be a huge disappointment for him.
Woods announcement concerning the U.S. Open was not a complete surprise. At a recent promotional event for the Quickens Loans National at Congressional, Woods said he still had not taken a full swing with a golf club since his surgery and did not know when he would be able to.
Woods made a statement on why he had to withdraw:
“Unfortunately, I wont be there because I’m not yet physically able to play competitive golf, I’d like to convey my regrets to the USGA leadership, the volunteers and the fans that I won’t be at Pinehurst. The U.S open is very important to me, and I know its going to be a great week.”
The last time Woods played competitive golf was March 9th at Doral, where he closed with a 78 while suffering from what he called “back spasms.” Tiger also ended up withdrawing in the middle of the final round at the Honda Classic due to back pains.
If you didn’t know, Tiger is a three-time U.S. Open champion, and he is one short of the record shared by Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, and Willie Anderson. His most recent U.S. Open win was at Torrey Pines in 2008. He missed the U.S. Open and British Open while allowing leg injuries to heal in 2011. He also missed the Masters for the first time in April because of the back surgery.
Jack Nicklaus has this to say about Woods:
“If he’s healthy, I think Tiger has got 10-plus years to play top quality tournament golf,and I’ve said many times, he’s got a little over 40 tournaments to play the major champions; he’s only got to win five to pass my record. As good as he is, I don’t think that should be a big deal. But then again he’s got to do it. Plus, he’s also got to be healthy to be able to do it.”
Tiger Woods has not indicated when he will return to competitive golf, but hopefully, it will be soon.
[ Image via en.wikipedia.org ]