After officially committing to play in the Safeway Open on Friday, Tiger announced on Friday via his website that he was withdrawing from the tournament. Medically, Tiger is still healthy and his rehab has progressed nicely. Tiger simply explained that his game is not where he wants it to be in order to compete at the highest level. Woods described his game as “vulnerable.”
Woods cited his commitment to the Ryder Cup as a reason for his lack of recent preparation. Woods is also expected to pull out of the Turkish Airlines Open in November.
We can now expect Woods’ return to tournament golf this December for the Hero World Challenge, which Tiger hosts. Tiger’s official press release can be viewed below:
Tiger Woods has not played a competitive round of golf since the 2015 Wyndham Championship, where he finished in a tie for 10th. Phil Mickelson, who will be playing in the 2016 season opening event, lobbied tournament organizers to be paired with the former number 1 player in the world. The two were last paired together at the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla where Tiger missed the cut, and Phil nearly won his 2nd PGA. Tiger and Phil will have to wait until at least December for another shot at teeing it up together.
Tiger was last spotted helping the US Ryder Cup team defeat the Europeans for the first time since 2008. Even as an assistant captain, Tiger played a pivotal role in keeping Patrick Reed on the course. Reed led the US to their 17-11 win. With his contributions, Tiger has been invited to be an assistant captain for the 2017 Presidents Cup team. Tiger has also expressed interest in being a head captain in the future, like many of the other golf greats.
There are also unconfirmed reports that Tiger has replaced much of his old Nike Equipment. Nike announced last month that they were exiting the golf club business to focus on footwear and apparel. Tiger was sent equipment from most of the golf club manufactures including Taylormade and Mizuno.