- "Game isn't where it needs to be," said Notah Begay III
- Next scheduled start is Turkish Airlines Open next month
TIGER WOODS | PGA TOUR
Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the Safeway Open and Turkish Airlines Open, describing his game as 'vulnerable and not where it needs to be'.
The 40-year-old, who hasn’t played competitively since August 2015, raised hopes by officially committing to the 2016/17 PGA Tour opener at Silverado Resort on Friday but, upon reflection, believes his game isn’t in good enough shape to be teeing it up.
"After a lot of soul searching and honest reflection, I know that I am not yet ready to play on the PGA Tour or compete in Turkey," said Tiger Woods in a statement on his official website. "My health is good, and I feel strong, but my game is vulnerable and not where it needs to be.
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"When I announced last week I was going to Safeway, I had every intention of playing, or I wouldn't have committed.
"I spent a week with the US Ryder Cup Team, an honour and experience that inspired me even more to play. I practiced the last several days in California, but after a lot of hours, I knew I wasn't ready to compete against the best golfers in the world.
"This isn't what I wanted to happen" - Tiger Woods
"I will continue to work hard, and plan to play at my foundation's event, the Hero World Challenge, in Albany.
"I would like to apologise and send my regrets to Safeway, the Turkish Airlines Open, the fans in California and Turkey and those that had hoped to watch me compete on TV. This isn't what I wanted to happen, but I will continue to strive to be able to play tournament golf. I'm close, and I won't stop until I get there."
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Woods' withdrawal comes as a massive blow to the Safeway Open organisers, who had reportedly shifted 30,000 extra tickets when the 14-time major champion announced last month that he'd be teeing it up at the tournament.
And, according to close friend Notah Begay III, it was his short game in particular that was causing the most concern.
“The last thing that comes in play that anyone who’s been hurt knows is the acute very precise golf shots,” said Begay.
"It’s nothing to be concerned around" - Notah Begay III
“Obviously it’s not where he wants to be. It’s nothing to be concerned around. It’s going to come. It’s just trying to find the right tournament to return to.”
Thoughts on Tiger Woods’ postponed comeback?
Was Tiger Woods right to withdraw if he felt his game wasn’t up to scratch? When do you think we’ll see him? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.