Tiger Woods Declining to Compete at Players Championship Is a Mystery

Tiger Woods skipping the Players Championship this week without any reason will understandably lead to all kind of conjecture about his back, his leg and all manner of possible maladies. But it’s quite possible that Woods simply is being careful, and doesn’t want to overdo it with the Masters looming.

 

Now that’s not great, either. It was Woods himself who in December sounded confident enough that he said he could attempt to play once a month starting with the Genesis Invitational. The Players Championship on a flat Florida golf course with three weeks after the Genesis and three weeks before the Masters seemed the perfect spot.

 

It’s fair to wonder if there was more to Woods’s withdrawal after six holes during the second round of the Genesis than the illness that was reported. There’s little doubt that Woods was ill … his trips to the restroom in short order suggested that something was amiss.

 

But Woods himself mentioned a back spasm issue during the first round and while it never seemed apparent, perhaps there was more there? And if it prevented him from working on his game to any degree, maybe that is why he doesn’t feel ready to play this week.

 

Woods competed a week ago in the Seminole Pro-Member, a one-day outing in which he was paired with PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh. Brad Faxon, the NBC analyst, was there and reported that Woods looked good.

All of which makes this week’s no-show a mystery.

 

Woods could enter the Valspar Championship next week, but that seems unlikely. So now he tries to prepare for Augusta National and the five-year anniversary of his Masters victory, the 15th major title of his career.

 

It’s an awful lot to ask him to be competitive after just 24 holes of official golf this year. But that is what Woods now faces.

 

 

Gideon Canice

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