Tiger Woods’ back is back in the news. Woods recently had a microdiscectomy surgery to “remove a pressurized disc fragment” that was leading to nerve pain following the PNC Championship he played in December.
Woods announced the procedure in a statement released on Twitter Tuesday afternoon, along with note that his doctors believed it to be a success. As a result, Woods will not be playing his typical Tour schedule to start 2021, and will be skipping the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines and the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club. He apparently intends on playing the host role at the Genesis Invitational.
“I look forward to begin training and am focused on getting back out on Tour,” Woods said in the statement.
For those keeping track at home, that makes five different back procedures Woods has had in his career, and the first once since his fusion surgery in April 2017. Woods famously followed that surgery with some of the most impressive golf of his career, winning the 2019 Masters, the 2018 Tour Championship and the 2019 Zozo Championship.
When will we see him on the course again? It’s difficult to be sure as these microdiscectomies have always been followed by a waiting game and inconsistent results. Woods normally plays the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players Championship, among others, in the run-up to the Masters each spring. Tiger fans will likely have to wait and hear from Woods himself during the Genesis Invitational in mid-February.
Recall that Woods was not in the greatest health at this time last year. He struggled to compete at Riviera, finishing last in the field of those who made the cut. He then sat out the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players Championship before it was canceled due to the coronavirus. He missed only one cut the rest of his 2020 campaign, but only shot in the 60s six times in 26 rounds. Woods polished off his year of golf at the PNC Championship alongside his son Charlie, which is where he dealt with a pinched nerve. Though he hid it quite well throughout, there was one shot of him warming up that made him look like he was dealing with some pain.