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After a fifth back surgery in December, fans of Tiger Woods were unsure of when they’d see the 15-time major champion back in action on the golf course.
While hosting last week’s Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California, Woods joined Jim Nantz during Sunday’s broadcast and gave hope that he’d play at the Masters in seven weeks time.
“God I hope so. I’ve got to get there first,” Woods said of playing at Augusta National with a chuckle. “A lot of it is based on my surgeons and doctors and therapist and making sure I do it correctly. This is the only back I’ve got, I don’t have much more wiggle room left.”
Those hopes were dashed on Tuesday when news broke that Woods was involved in a single-car rollover accident in Ranchos Palos Verdes, California, at 7 a.m. PT. Woods’ vehicle sustained major damage, but an LA County Fire Department spokesperson classified Woods’ injuries as “severe but not life-threatening.”
So what does this all mean for his future prospects on the course?
The 82-time winner on the PGA Tour played in just nine official events in 2020 and had one top-10 – a tie for ninth in the Farmers Insurance Open, his first event of the year. The last time Woods competed was in December, where he teamed up with his son, Charlie, at the PNC Championship, an annual event featuring two-player teams comprised of PGA Tour or PGA Tour Champions players and, most of the time, their sons.
Following his December microdiscectomy surgery after the PNC Championship, a statement from Woods’ Twitter account said, “I look forward to begin training and am focused on getting back on Tour.”
Woods, 45, told Nantz on Sunday he didn’t have any concrete plans to return to competition, and that his schedule for 2021 was dependent on how his body continued to recover from yet another surgery.
The Jupiter, Florida, resident has had four surgeries on his left knee, and first had microdiscectomy surgery on his back in March 2014, then had two similar procedures in the fall of 2015. In April of 2017, he had an anterior lumbar interbody fusion surgery.