Tiger Woods’s ‘indefinite break’ to take in his hometown Honda Classic
Withdrawal last Thursday was the ninth of his career to date and third in his last eight
Tiger Woods holds his back after playing his tee shot on the 15th hole of the north course during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open. Photograph: Donald Miralle/Getty Images
Tiger Woods’s indefinite break from golf will take in next week’s Honda Classic.
The 39-year-old said last week that he was taking time out from the sport in order to work on his game after another injury scare and poor form, but hoped to play at Palm Beach.
Woods, a 14-time major champion, said he was taking a break after he withdrew midway through his first round at last week’s Farmers Insurance Open in California due to back pain, although he has allayed fears over the setback.
Of more pressing concern for the 39-year-old are his recent struggles on the course, with his injury coming six days after he recorded the worst round of his career — an 11-over-par 82 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
At the time he said: “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.”
Woods said that he would “like to play The Honda Classic — it’s a tournament in my hometown and it’s important to me” but when the tournament’s official website on Thursday published the field of players who will compete, Woods’ name was absent. The PGA also put on its official Twitter feed that Woods would not be playing the event.
Woods added last week that he would not take part unless his game was “tournament-ready”.
It is another chapter of discontent for Woods — the man who was once the dominant force in the men’s game.
The American withdrew from last year’s event in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, after 13 holes with back pain and would eventually have to undergo surgery in April on a pinched nerve which forced him to miss the Masters and the US Open.
And since that return from last year’s injury, Woods has struggled to recapture the form that saw him become one of the greatest players of all-time.
He finished 69th at the Open at Royal Liverpool in July, while a month later he missed just his fourth cut in 66 majors as a professional after suffering yet more back trouble at the US PGA Championship at Valhalla.
Woods subsequently ruled himself out of consideration for a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in September because of injury and later revealed he did not feel he could have won a point for the United States.
Woods made an underwhelming return to golf by shooting a five-over-par first round at the Hero World Challenge in December and it has gone from bad to worse in his first two tournaments of 2015.
His withdrawal last Thursday was the ninth of his career to date, and the third in his last eight. He has not won a PGA Tour event since 2013 and has failed to land a major since 2008.