Tiger Woods has revealed his disappointment after not being able to tee it up at next week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational.
In a statement released on his website, the 14-time major champion didn’t give a timetable for his return but said his treatments are ‘going well’.
“Unfortunately, due to ongoing rest and rehabilitation on my back, I won’t be able to play in this year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational,” said Woods, who has won the event a record eight times.
“I’m especially disappointed because I wanted to be at Bay Hill to help honour Arnold. This is one event I didn’t want to skip.
“Arnold has meant so much to me and my family; I thought of him as a close friend, and Sam and Charlie were both born in the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies. He will be greatly missed and can never truly be replaced.
“Presently, I have no timetable for my return to golf, but my treatments are continuing and going well.”
The announcement of Woods’ withdrawal from Bay Hill comes days after close friend and confidant Steve Stricker – who Woods is a vice-captain for at the upcoming Presidents Cup – gave a bleak assessment of his current situation.
“He’s working hard at it, but I don’t think he’s doing that well right now physically,” Stricker told Golf Channel.
Woods hasn’t played since withdrawing prior to the second round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in early February, which was the second official event in his return to competitive action after not teeing it up previously since August 2015.
But watching from afar, Stricker wasn’t impressed with what he saw from Woods in the Middle East.
“Just the way he was walking didn’t quite look right,” he added. “He was walking really gingerly. It didn’t really look physically like he was ready to play.”
It would now be seen as a huge surprise if Woods was to play in The Masters in four weeks’ time.