Story By Deborah Leung Pointed Magazine Staff Writer
Photo’s Benjamin Rogers, Jr
Tiger Woods will not play in next week’s U.S. Open at Pennsylvania’s Oakmont Country Club, marking the third time in the past six years he will miss the major championship he has won three times.
In perhaps a mild surprise, Woods also announced Tuesday that he will not play in the Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club the following week. That tournament benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation and was one that seemed a sensible fit for his long-awaited comeback.
“While I continue to work hard on getting healthy, I’m not physically ready to play in this year’s U.S. Open and the Quicken Loans National,” Woods said in a statement. “I am making progress, but I’m not yet ready for tournament competition.”
Woods, 40, is recovering from two back surgeries performed last fall, the second apparently more serious than the first. It has been more than seven months since the last surgery on Oct. 28; he last competed in August at the Wyndham Championship, where the 14-time major winner tied for 10th.
There have been various sightings of Woods in recent weeks, including at clinics in South Carolina and Las Vegas and also at the opening of a golf course he designed near Houston. Woods hit balls for a small audience and played five holes at Bluejack National on April 25 and said afterward he was surprised to feel as good as he did.
All along, there were thoughts that Woods might play the Players Championship or perhaps last week’s Memorial Tournament. The U.S. Open at Oakmont, one of the hardest courses in the country, always seemed a reach.
But the Quicken Loans event where he made his return from 2014 back surgery and missed the cut seemed reasonable.
Now it is unclear when Woods will return, or if he will at all during this PGA Tour season. The Open at Royal Troon next month and the PGA Championship at Baltusrol at the end of July are possibilities but seem unlikely if he doesn’t get some tournament preparation.
Woods, who also has 79 PGA Tour titles, will now have missed eight majors for injuries.