Tiger Woods planned to play an ambitious early season schedule in February, but debilitating back spasms have forced the 14-time major champion to clear his schedule once again and focus on recovery as the Masters draws ever closer.
Woods missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open in January, then flew to Dubai and finished just a single round before withdrawing from the event. The problem is fortunately unrelated to the nerve issues that have plagued him the last few years, but it’s still unclear when Woods will return – and at this point, if he’ll ever be fully healthy.
Pat Perez, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, raised eyebrows Thursday by saying that Woods “knows he can’t beat anybody,” and that he believes Woods is done if he doesn’t make it back for Augusta later this year.
“Tiger is the name, and he is the game of golf as we know it today, but the bottom line is he knows he can’t beat anybody. But what he does… he’s got this new corporation that he started, so he’s got to keep his name relevant to keep the corporation going.
So he’s going to show up to a few events, he’s going to try to play, he’s going to show his [sponsors]. What’s the bag? Monster? He’s gotta go out there and show the Monster bag, he’s going to show the TaylorMade driver. He’s gonna get on TV. He’s got the Nike clothes. He’s got to keep that stuff relevant. But the bottom line is he knows he can’t beat anybody. He knows it.
I mean.. the guy shot 77! That guy can’t shoot 77. And then what does he do the next day? ‘Oh my back.’ He knows he can’t beat anybody! I told you, he’s not going to come out and play poorly. I said this how many months ago, he’s not going to do it for a long time.
… If he doesn’t play Augusta, then it’s over. I can tell you that right now. If he does not play Augusta, it’s over… personally, I don’t think you’ll see him again this year.”