Tiger Woods had a fourth back surgery to alleviate pain, rest of 2017 season in doubt

April 20, 2017

Tiger Woods has undergone yet another back surgery, and the rest of his 2017 season has been placed in question.

Woods announced on his website Thursday that another back surgery—his fourth since September, 2014—was necessary to “alleviate ongoing pain in his back and leg.”

According to the release, which did not specify the exact date of the surgery, Woods’ procedure will require him to rest for several weeks before more therapy and treatments. It added that patients recovering from similar surgeries typically return to full activity in about six months. 

“The surgery went well, and I’m optimistic this will relieve my back spasms and pain,” Woods said. “When healed, I look forward to getting back to a normal life, playing with my kids, competing in professional golf and living without the pain I have been battling so long.”

Woods had been on hiatus from competitive golf since withdrawing from the Dubai Desert Classic in early February and recently sat out the Masters, the season’s first major. The 14-time major winner was hoping to return to a full schedule in 2017 and kicked off his most recent comeback with a 15th-place finish (out of 17 competitors) at the Hero World Challenge in December. But Woods missed the cut in his second event, the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, and withdrew after one round in Dubai, citing a back injury. 

On Tuesday Woods made a media appearance to announce plans to design his first public-access course, near the Missouri-Arkansas border. He flubbed a ceremonial wedge shot before re-teeing. “The back is progressing,” Woods said at the time. “I have good days and bad days. I’ve had three back operations, and that’s the nature of the business.”

Thursday we learned that Woods’ back surgery count is now up to four.