No news isn’t good news for Tiger Woods. It’s not necessarily bad news either for the 14-time major winner, who withdrew from last week’s Dubai Desert Classic before his Friday second-round tee time with back spasms.
The original plan called for Woods to return to the United States and take this week off while the PGA Tour plays at Pebble Beach. Then, he’d fly out to Los Angeles and act as host for the Genesis Open, the former Northern Trust Open, which his foundation’s tournament-management arm now runs.
That plan hasn’t officially changed yet, with Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, telling Golf Channel on Tuesday that there is “no update” on Woods’ status for next week at Rivera Country Club.
Woods’ friend and Stanford teammate Notah Begay III appeared on Golf Channel air to suggest Team Tiger isn’t overly concerned about the bumpy start to Woods’ 2017 comeback tour, including a missed cut at Torrey Pines.
“At the end of the day, there wasn’t any real, I guess, panic, whcih I think is good,” Begay said. “Of course everybody’s got an opinion, but I defer to Tiger and his understanding of where he’s at.”
Begay also spoke about Woods’ workout routine, perhaps in response to a No Laying Up report that Woods’ workout regimen looks more like what he did in the gym before three back surgeries since March 2014.
“I’ve been there, I’ve seen it, I’ve worked out at his house in his home gym, and it’s dramatically different,” Begay said. “It’s less intense, more focused on stability to certain areas. I don’t think there’s many athletes that could have come back from something like this, and to be where he’s at in this entire process is a positive.”
The Golf Channel analyst somewhat lowered the bar for Woods’ return, suggesting that just having him out there again is a good step.
“Certainly not where he wants to be, and apparently not where everybody else wants him to be,” Begay said, “but at the end of the day, being able to play competitive golf and come out and at least have a chance to put some more work in and show some signs of improvement is a good thing.”