Tiger Woods: Five-time Masters winner’s season on hold after latest surgery

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It is the fifth time Woods has needed surgery on his back.

Tiger Woods is expected to be sidelined for at least two months after the 15-time major winner underwent his latest back surgery.

Woods had a microdiscectomy procedure done on his back to remove a pressurised disc fragment that was pinching a nerve and will miss both the Farmers Insurance Open and the Genesis Invitational.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Woods’ surgery was declared a success and he is expected to make a full recovery.

“I look forward to begin training and am focused on getting back out on tour,” said Woods.

According to Golf Digest, Woods remains hopeful that he will return in time for The Masters, which begins on April 8.

This is the fifth operation Woods has had on his back and his fourth microdiscectomy, having undergone the same procedure on three occasions between 2014 and 2015.

It is the first back surgery Woods has needed since his career-saving spinal-fusion surgery in April 2017.

Woods has recently spoken of how he continues to struggle with his body despite making a miraculous recovery, which culminated in him winning his fifth Masters title in April 2019.

“My body just has moments where it just doesn’t work like it used to,” Woods said at The Masters in November.
“No matter how hard I try, things just don’t work the way they used to, and no matter how much I push and ask of this body, it just doesn’t work at times.”Speaking last July, Woods also revealed how his stamina is not where it used to be and how he has tried to adapt.“It’s going to happen more times than not,” Woods told The Guardian when asked about pre-round back stiffness. “The last four or five years have been difficult as I’ve gone through procedures and have tried to come back.

When Woods may return

“I don’t have the same type of stamina as I used to have, that’s for sure, when I was training hard and running and all that stuff. Granted, I’m a lot older now, so things change, they evolve. You try to suck it up as best you can and get through it.”

Were Woods to miss two months, as speculated, he would likely miss The Players Championship, which begins on March 11, and The Honda Classic a week later.

If the former world number one wants to play before The Masters, the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play on March 24 seems a strong possibility.

Rory McIlroy schedule

While Woods will be out of action, Rory McIlroy has revealed his own busy schedule over the next eight weeks, during which the four-time major winner plans to play seven tournaments.

McIlroy gets his 2021 season underway at the Abu Dhabi Championship this week.

“Historically, the first event of the season has always been a good one for me,” McIlroy told the European Tour website.

“I’m raring to go after the Christmas break, I’ve done some good practice and you come into the new season with renewed optimism and a lot of goals. I guess that has translated into some good golf here.

“I think I have got into contention so many times here and played some good final rounds but just not good enough.

“I keep getting myself into contention and someone goes out and has a really good Sunday but I need to take the initiative and have one of those really good Sundays myself to get over the line.”

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