GOOD

Fans who have waited over a year to see golf legend Tiger Woods return to the links will just have to wait a little longer after his announcement today that he is withdrawing from this weekend’s Safeway Open, his first tournament since August of last year’s Wyndham Championship.

In a prepared statement in which he cites “performance-related” concerns, Woods backed out of not just this weekend’s tournament, but also next month’s Turkish Airlines Open, which he had names as the second tournament in this fall’s three-date tour.


In the statement he didn’t mention his upcomiing participation in December’s Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, a tournement that Tiger himself sponsors. It’s unclear how the shifted timetable for his return will affect that, his final scheduled tournament for 2016.

The complete statement, first shared on TigerWoods.com, reads:

After a lot of soul searching and honest reflection, I know that I am not yet ready to play on the PGA TOUR or compete in Turkey. My health is good, and I feel strong, but my game is vulnerable and not where it needs to be.

When I announced last week I was going to Safeway, I had every intention of playing, or I wouldn't have committed. I spent a week with the U.S. Ryder Cup Team, an honor and experience that inspired me even more to play. I practiced the last several days in California, but after a lot of hours, I knew I wasn't ready to compete against the best golfers in the world. I will continue to work hard, and plan to play at my foundation's event, the Hero World Challenge, in Albany.

I would like to apologize and send my regrets to Safeway, the Turkish Airlines Open, the fans in California and Turkey and those that had hoped to watch me compete on TV. This isn't what I wanted to happen, but I will continue to strive to be able to play tournament golf. I'm close, and I won't stop until I get there.

It’s understandable that he’d want to postpone his comeback to give fans (and himself) a performance that most closely resembles the iconic Tiger we knew 15 years ago, but that doesn’t make the news any less disappointing to fans of the athlete and the sport.

In April, Tiger was filmed playing his first few holes of golf since the previous August’s Wyndham Championship, and he wowed the crowd and internet viewers alike with a strong swing reminiscent of the old Tiger:

So...what happened?

Withdrawals from tournaments, especially in the week prior, are rare occurances that typically take place only as a result of injuries. What does it say about Tiger’s game and composure that he effectively pulled the plug on not one, but two tournaments? Did he have higher hopes for his performance? Did his game take a sudden hit in the past week?

Unsurprisingly, his statement, while honest, doesn’t get into details. We’ll have to wait a little longer not just to see Tiger back out on the course, but also to learn what went wrong so close to his scheduled return.

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