Tiger Woods is undoubtedly one of the best to ever play the game of professional golf. Nevertheless, it’s uncertain how much longer he will be able to remain competitive in the game he once dominated.
Woods announced Tuesday that he will miss the next two major golf events after having a fifth surgery on his back in December, the PGA Tour reported.
The first event is the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines — a course where he has won eight times — as well as an event he created, The Genesis Invitational, which he still intends to host at the Riviera Country Club in mid-February.
Out for two tournaments
Woods made the announcement in a release that revealed he had undergone a successful “microdiscectomy procedure to remove a pressurized disc fragment that was pinching his nerve” and causing discomfort during the PNC Championship in December.
Doctors expect that Woods will make a full recovery. “I look forward to begin training and am focused on getting back out on TOUR,” Woods said in the statement.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) January 19, 2021
Back and knee issues
Woods’ most recent surgery is the fifth one to try and repair his back and his tenth surgery overall, counting the five surgeries he has also had on his left knee, Fox News reported.
It was after Woods’ last victory at Torrey Pines in 2014 that his physical injuries began to impact his career. Over the course of 2014-2015, he underwent the first surgery on his back, the first of three microdiscectomies during that time. He also underwent major surgery in 2017 to fuse his lower spine together.
Those back surgeries, coupled with a recurring knee issue that has also required five surgeries, have resulted in a decline in performance for the once-unbeatable golfing machine.
Body breaking down
According to Golf Digest, the last PGA tournament win for Woods came at the 2019 Zozo Championship in Japan, with his last major event win coming at the Masters earlier that year, his 15th major title. Since then, his performance has gone downhill and 2020 was a forgettable and largely noncompetitive year.
“My body just has moments where it just doesn’t work like it used to,” Woods acknowledged following the rescheduled Masters in November, his last official tour start. “No matter how hard I try, things just don’t work the way they used to, and no matter how much I push and ask of this body, it just doesn’t work at times.”
The PGA Tour noted that Woods’ last victory in Japan tied him with legendary golfer Sam Snead for the most career wins at 82. Overall, the 45-year-old golfer has played 1,322 rounds and had 368 starts on the PGA Tour. In addition to the 82 victories, he also boasts 31 second-place finishes, 19 finishes in third, 199 top 10 finishes, as well as an estimated $121 million in career winnings.