NBC: Tiger Woods turned down invitation to join U.S. Open broadcast, 'doesn't want to do it'

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Tiger Woods' absence at the U.S. Open next week will be stark.

Host Torrey Pines is among Woods' favorite courses and the site of one of his greatest championships, the 2008 U.S. Open that he won on an injured leg in a 19-hole playoff against Rocco Mediate. While Woods remains far from a return to any type of golf after suffering major injuries in a February car crash, NBC took a shot at luring Woods to its broadcast.

Per the network, he declined.

'He didn't want to do it'

Producers and announcers from next week's broadcast held a news conference on Wednesday to discuss U.S. Open coverage. Announcer Dan Hicks provided the scoop on Woods, per Golf.com.

“We were all thinking how good that would be, who better, if he couldn’t be there to play it, to voice it and have him a part of the show," Hicks said. "But we were rebuffed. He didn’t want to do it, and I totally understand his situation."

Tiger Woods leaves the 18th green during the third round of the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club (North) on August 29, 2020 in Olympia Fields, IL. (Photo by Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)
Tiger Woods remains focused on walking without aid rather than a return to golf. (Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

The latest on Woods' recovery

Woods and his team have provided sporadic updates on his status since the rollover crash that left him with comminuted open leg fractures fractures among other serious injuries. He said in a May interview with Golf Digest that his focus remains on walking without aid, while declining to address a return to competitive golf.

"My physical therapy has been keeping me busy," Woods said. "I do my routines every day and am focused on my No. 1 goal right now, walking on my own. Taking it one step at a time."

Woods has also appeared in social media photos, most recently seen shedding his walking boot in an image shared in late May.

On Wednesday, Hicks speculated that Woods didn't want to become a "sideshow" attraction at the site of one of his greatest golf achievements.

"There is a lot going on in his world right now, and there’s also a part of Tiger that doesn’t want to become this, I don’t want to, for lack of a better word, a sideshow at an event where we should be concentrating on what’s happening," Hicks said.

The U.S. Open starts next Thursday, where Jon Rahm remains a +1000 betting favorite despite his withdrawal from the Memorial Tournament last week with COVID-19.

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