Masters champion Mark O’Meara sat next to Tiger Woods at the Tuesday champions dinner at Augusta National, and the 1998 winner didn’t report back good news from the four-time champion.
“I feel for him,” O’Meara said after a practice round Wednesday, according to Golf Channel. “He’s day to day. He said, ‘Some days I have good days; some days I have bad days.’ [The pain] is pretty much in the same area in his lower back that he’s had the surgeries on. But he’s such a competitor that he can’t come out and play half of what he did.
“The timetable for his return, I didn’t ask him, but you can tell that it’s kind of you just have to wait and see.”
Woods hasn’t competed since Feb. 2, when he shot a grimace-filled 77 in the first round of the Dubai Desert Classic. He withdrew before the second round, citing lower back spasms, claiming the problems were not related to the three back surgeries he has faced since March 2014. Woods then withdrew from a pair of planned starts, and he has offered no timetable for his return. Woods reportedly put in a last-gasp, too-late effort to prepare for a Masters appearance, but it was short lived, including a range session that lasted all of five minutes.
O’Meara said his friend, who was honored at the exclusive Tuesday dinner of Masters winners for his record-breaking 1997 performance, wants to come back to compete. It’s just a matter of figuring out when his body might let him.
“I know it’s a struggle for him, I can tell you that much,” O’Meara said of Woods. “He misses it. When you’re a competitor like he is, and you’ve accomplished what he has, he certainly misses being here and playing the game at a high level because that’s what he’s been all about for all of these years.”