Tiger Woods still doesn’t know when he’s going to return to competitive golf.
Woods was in Ridgedale, Missouri, on Tuesday to announce his TGR Design golf-course architecture group would be working with Big Cedar Lodge and its owner, Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, on a new 19-hole championship course slated to open in 2019. As part of the ceremony, Woods hit a pair of 100-yard shots to christen the new design. The first one? Square in the drink guarding the green. The second? A solid effort. However, the first shot brought up flashbacks of Woods finding the pond three straight times from 103 yards at Congressional Country Club during last year’s Quicken Loans National media day.
Afterward, he was asked about a potential timetable to come back to the PGA Tour, and the 14-time major-winner was non-committal.
“I have good days and bad days,” said Woods. “I’ve had three back operations and that’s just kind of the nature of the business, unfortunately. That’s all I can say.”
Woods hasn’t played since Feb. 2, when he shot 77 in the first round of the Dubai Desert Classic in the United Arab Emirates. He withdrew before the second round, citing lower back spasms. He then pulled out of planned starts at the Genesis Open and The Honda Classic. He made a last-ditch effort at trying to prepare to play the Masters, but his practice sessions were reportedly short-lived.
While Woods didn’t deliver a particularly cheerful outlook for his future playing schedule, his friend and Golf Channel analyst Notah Begay III suggested during Masters Week that Woods could come back to the PGA Tour in late May with an eye toward playing in the U.S. Open in June in Wisconsin.
“[The Masters] probably wouldn’t have been the best place for Tiger to start the year out after this most recent setback, and I think we should probably look, maybe something just after The Players Championship,” Begay said on “The Rich Eisen Show.”
“Oh, [the U.S. Open is] a definite possibility,” Begay added. “That’s probably the event that’s circled on his calendar, but he’s got to at least get one or two starts in before that to see where his body, where his game’s at and if he can hit the shots he wants to hit.”