Not out of the Woods: PGA Golf Tour
April 4, 2014
It looks as though there is no hope left for Tiger Woods to catch Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 major tournament titles. Tuesday, Woods announced on his website that he would be withdrawing from the 2014 Masters Tournament due to back surgery performed a day earlier to alleviate a pinched nerve.
After a disappointing tie for fourth in last years Masters, Woods will miss his annual trip to Augusta National for the first time since entering the tournament as an amateur in 1995.
“I’d like to express my disappointment to the Augusta National membership, staff, volunteers and patrons that I will not be at the Masters,” Woods added. “It’s a week that’s very special to me. It also looks like I’ll be forced to miss several upcoming tournaments to focus on my rehabilitation and getting healthy.”
Over the past month, Woods’ back has been the topic of much discussion in the golfing community. After withdrawing from this years Honda Classic citing back problems, Woods has once again removed himself from contention until further notice.
The last time Woods removed himself from contention was also coincidently the last time he won a major tournament. In 2008, Woods won the U.S. Open held at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, Calif, after a grueling 72-hole tournament and thrilling 18-hole playoff. Soon after, the world found out that Woods had played with a blown out knee. With the news came the realization that Woods would be forced to recover from knee surgery and unable to compete for the remainder of the year.
Fast-forward six years and the incident seems to be the same.
After six long years, Woods has fallen from the golfing gods pedestal. He has not won a major since 2008 and has hardly returned to the player he once was. One shouldn’t say there haven’t been glimpses of greatness, but nothing of the ferocious nature that consumed the game since he turned pro in 1996.
Woods has always maintained that he would beat Nicklaus’s major record and Sam Snead’s all-time PGA Tour win’s record, but those chances are dwindling. Although this might be true, Woods believes these goals are still obtainable and within sight.
“It’s tough right now, but I’m absolutely optimistic about the future,” Woods said. “There are a couple [of] records by two outstanding individuals and players that I hope one day to break. As I’ve said many times, Sam and Jack reached their milestones over an entire career. I plan to have a lot of years left in mine.”