Yesterday it was announced on Tiger Woods’ website that he has successfully undergone back surgery in order to “alleviate on-going pain in his back and leg.
"The surgery went well, and I'm optimistic this will relieve my back spasms and pain," Woods said. "When healed, I look forward to getting back to a normal life, playing with my kids, competing in professional golf and living without the pain I have been battling so long."
This is Woods’ fourth back surgery since April 2014 and is likely to sideline the 14-time major champion for at least six months and therefore miss the rest of this year’s major championships.
It was only 2 weeks ago that Notah Begay gave us the hope of a swift return for Tiger. The NBC/ Golf Channel analyst and former college teammate of Woods said, “I think we should probably look, maybe something just after the Players Championship,” when speaking on The Rich Eisen Show.
When discussing the possibility of a return at this year’s U.S. Open Begay said, “The US Open is a definite possibility, but he’s got to at least get one or two starts in before that just to see where his body and his game is at to hit that shots that he wants to hit.” All of this raises the question, is Begay inside the Tiger loop at all?
Someone who is undoubtedly in the loop is Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg. Speaking to the Golf Channel, Steinberg said that this recent surgery is “dramatically different” to the pervious ones, describing it as a “long-term fix” and that Tiger is “looking forward to a life without pain.”
When asked about a possible return date, the answer as you might have expected, was a little vague. Steinberg said, “what Tiger has learned in the past several years is listen to your doctor's mouth." He continued, "whatever they tell him, whatever they recommend, that's what he can do so he can get back to that healthy, active lifestyle."
For a man whose last win came at the 2013 WGC Bridgestone Invitational and has only completed seven competitive rounds since late august 2015, what should we realistically expect if and when Tiger makes yet another return to competitive action.