Tiger Woods’ start to the 2021 season will have to wait, after announcing he has undergone a fifth back surgery in the last seven years.
Woods, 45, recently had a pressurized disc fragment removed following discomfort he felt after the PNC Championship.
As a result, the 15-time major champion will miss the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines next week, and The Genesis Invitational at Riviera, in February.
A statement on Woods’ social media said: “His doctors and their team have determined it to be successful and expect him to make a full recovery.”
Tiger said: “I look forward to begin training and am focused on getting back out on Tour.”
Despite not being able to compete, Tiger will honour his duties as Tournament Host of The Genesis Invitational.
Fellow professional and close friend, Rory McIlroy, has offered reassurance to Tiger, and is confident he will once again return successfully.
Speaking at the HSBC Championship in Abu Dhabi, McIlroy said: “I’ve known for a while. He had it on the 23rd of December.
“Obviously any time you are being cut into you try to avoid that as much as you can, but he was back on his feet the next day so I don’t think we can read too much into it.
“I think they were just trying to clean a couple of little bits up. Obviously he won’t be playing for the next couple of months, but he should be back for the Masters, if not before that.”
Woods has faced several setbacks through injury in recent years. He competed in just one PGA Tour event between August 2015 and December 2017, coincidently, a missed cut at the Farmers Insurance.
The American’s last surgery was towards the end of that period, a spinal fusion operation in 2017.
Following the surgery, Woods returned to the PGA Tour in magnificent style, winning the 2018 Tour Championship. He then claimed his fifth Masters title in 2019, his first major title in 11 years.
Feature image credit: CBS Sports