Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like Tiger Woods will be teeing it up at the Masters this year.
Before the specific reasoning behind this statement, ask yourself this question: How many weeks of relatively pain-free preparation would Tiger Woods want before the Masters? Two? Three? Four?
Now remember this: The start of the Masters is now less than three weeks away. And according to multiple sources, per Golf Digest’s Brian Wacker, Woods has not played or practiced since withdrawing from the Dubai Desert Classic, February 3rd.
Thus, even if the reported back spasms that sidelined him dissipated tomorrow, he’d have little more than two weeks to get his game into shape for Augusta National…and this will have been after a month-and-a-half layoff.
And with that kind of preparation, it’s fitting to ask: Would we even want to see that version of Tiger Woods? A 41-year-old grinding it out to shoot a pair of 75s, missing the cut?
Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, didn’t offer any update on his client’s condition. And an ominous “source close to the situation” said “I would be shocked if he plays anytime soon.” And another source indicated Woods “didn’t look good.”
Woods didn’t play The Masters last year. He tied for 17th at Augusta National in 2015—his most recent Masters start.
After sitting out for the entirety of the 2015-2016 season, the former world No. 1’s only official action of the 2016-2017 season is a missed cut at the Farmers Insurance Open in January where he shot 76-72 to miss the cut.
To follow, he backed out (no pun intended) of the Genesis Open, the Honda Classic, and the Arnold Palmer Invitational. We’re officially still in the “no timetable for return” zone, according to Team Tiger.
But on the plus side, Woods will be in New York, Monday to sign copies of his new book. So we can expect a fresh round of speculation and posture, gait, and demeanor assessment then. It seems as though Woods is focusing more on his business ventures than his golf game.
And at least Augusta National needn’t worry about Woods’ absence adversely affecting viewership. Per analyst reports, viewership numbers haven’t suffered in years when Woods doesn’t play.