Pinched Nerve Sidelines 4-Time Champion
Tiger Woods announced this morning that he has withdrawn from next week’s Masters while he recovers from successful surgery for a pinched nerve in his neck. Woods Tweeted the news and revealed it on his website, TigerWoods.com.
“After attempting to get ready for the Masters, and failing to make the necessary progress, I decided, in consultation with my doctors, to have this procedure done,” wrote the four-time Masters champion. “I’d like to express my disappointment to the Augusta National membership, staff, volunteers and patrons that I will not be at the Masters. It’s a week that’s very special to me. It also looks like I’ll be forced to miss several upcoming tournaments to focus on my rehabilitation and getting healthy.”
Woods has played in 19 consecutive Masters events, beginning in 1995 when he finished 41st as an amateur. It’s another disappointment to fans of the men’s professional tour, who last week saw Phil Mickelson withdraw from the Valero Texas Open due to a pulled back muscle, and in recent months have been waiting for a winning performance from the Tour’s cadre of Hall of Fame caliber players.
During that time, a relatively anonymous string of journeymen and first-time Tour winners have been filling the Masters field. No disrespect to the emotional Matt Every or the brash Russell Henley, but they’re not must-watch TV.
Of course, avid golf fans know Augusta National and the Masters are the stars of the event—no matter who’s in contention. And those fans will tune in. It’s the casual golf watcher, who, like a C & E Churchgoer, will take Sunday off.
Should potentially lower television ratings worry the PGA Tour? Upon hearing the news of Tiger’s withdrawal, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said in a prepared statement: “Of course, we’re disappointed to hear that Tiger will be out of competition for a few months and will miss several big tournaments, but I’m sure no one is more disappointed than Tiger. I was pleased to hear that Tiger’s procedure to alleviate a pinched nerve was successful and that the long-term prognosis for his recovery is positive.”
Chris Duthie is a contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.