Tiger Woods, once the most dominant golfer on any green and the perennial best golfer in the world, underwent his second back surgery in less than two years and will miss the rest of 2015.
Woods announced, via his website, that his second microdiscectomy was performed on September 16 in Park City, Utah, by neurosurgeon Dr. Charles Rich, who deemed the procedure a “complete success,” explaining that a small disc fragment had been pinching a nerve in the 14-time major winner’s back.
The New York Times reported that Woods had previously committed to competing in the Frys.com Open being held October 15-18 in California, as well as the Bridgestone America’s Golf Cup presented by Value in Mexico City and the Hero World Challenge at Albany in the Bahamas. but Woods will now miss the events, for which Woods expressed his disappointment.
“I’d like to send my regrets to Fry’s and all those associated with the America’s Golf Cup. Those were two events I was really looking forward to playing. I was ready to start the 2015-16 PGA TOUR season at Fry’s, and I was excited to join my good friend Matt Kuchar in Mexico City. I will be attending my foundation-hosted Hero World Challenge but won’t be able to play. I appreciate everything that Hero does for the Tiger Woods Foundation, and I have a great personal relationship with Mr. Munjalvice. I look forward to being there to support my event.”
“I appreciate the fans concern and support. This is unfortunate, but these things happen. I’ve been injured before and played again. It won’t be any different this time.”
As USA Today reports, Woods had played in just 11 events this year and had one top-10 finish. Woods has not won a major since 2013 and is currently ranked No. 283 in the world.
Once golf’s most intimidating and dominant figure, Woods’ career derailed in 2010 after reports surfaced of Woods’ infidelity and subsequent divorce. Since weathering the intense media scrutiny and fallout, Woods has shown flashes of his formerly unbeatable self, but has been largely unable to regain the consistently dominant level of play that led many to consider him the greatest of all time. One common observation lay the fault at Woods’ own perfectionism and penchant for changing swings and coaches in a compulsive attempt to regain his prior success. This, along with persistent back pain issues have led many to wonder if Woods can ever again become the overwhelming force he once was.
Woods will begin rehabilitation and soft tissue treatments within a week and is hopeful for a return to health and form for the 2016 season.
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]