Some bad news for golf fans, even though most suspected this would be the case, as Tiger Woods announced he will not be at the U.S. Open as he continues to recover from back surgery.
"Unfortunately, I won't be there because I'm not yet physically able to play competitive golf," Woods said. "I'd like to convey my regrets to the USGA leadership, the volunteers and the fans that I won't be at Pinehurst. The U.S. Open is very important to me, and I know it's going to be a great week. Despite missing the first two majors, and several other important tournaments, I remain very optimistic about this year and my future."
Woods, who turns 39 in December, will miss a second straight major championship for the third time in his career after having to pull out of the Masters for the same back issues. The other two times occurred in 2008 when Woods missed the the British Open and PGA Championship because of knee surgery after his U.S. Open win that year, and the 2010 Opens that Woods missed because of knee and Achilles issues.
While the news is big in terms of what to expect with the U.S. Open at Pinehurst, it shouldn't be shocking. Woods didn't sound optimistic earlier this month when he spoke to the media for the first time since his back surgery, saying the rehabilitation is, "not a lot of fun. There are a lot of tedious exercises. It is slow, and I just have to make sure I do it right."
The conversation now moves to Hoylake and the British Open, and the hope of a Woods return on a golf course where he won at the last time this championship was held there.
The Open Championship kicks off July 17, just over a month after the U.S. Open wraps up, so if his back improves between then, maybe we will see Woods go for a fourth claret jug, but even if he does make his return there, the question remains if he will be good enough to not just win a major championship, but compete at one considering he hasn't played a professional round since March 9.
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