Next week’s Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio will go on without Tiger Woods.
Next month’s U.S. Open could also go on without Woods — and the rest of the summer, including the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational in Akron and the PGA Championship in Louisville, Ky., seems to be in question.
Speaking Monday morning at a press conference for the National, the late-June tournament Woods hosts in the Washington, D.C., area, Woods said it’s still "a little bit too soon" for him to swing a club after Woods had back surgery March 31.
"There’s no date, there’s no timetable, we’re just taking it day by day," Woods said of his return.
Woods said he’s been able to chip and putt but does not have clearance from doctors for full swings or full activity. Asked when he thinks he’ll be cleared to return, Woods said, "I wish it was today."
The U.S. Open at Pinehurst starts June 12. The British Open starts July 17 at Royal Liverpool, and the PGA Championship starts Aug. 7, the week after the WGC-Bridgestone at Firestone Country Club in Akron, an event Woods won last August for the eighth time.
Woods has also won five times at the Memorial, Jack Nicklaus’s tournament at Muirfield Country Club that begins next week. Woods has played in just four tournaments this year. On Monday, Adam Scott officially passed Woods to take over the top spot in the World Golf Rankings.
Woods said he’s in no rush — "I want to make sure I do it right" — and that he wants to know he can come back "explosive" and not just able to say he’s back and playing.
"I miss playing," he said. "I miss being on the golf course. I miss the game."
Woods, who is rehabbing in Florida, has missed five major championships since he had reconstructive left knee surgery following his win in the 2008 U.S. Open, his 14th and last major victory. He said this injury is different than the others in that he wants to be back on the course "but I just can’t do it."
He said he’ll continue to do "tedious little exercises" and wait on his medical clearance.
"I am damn good at video games," he said of his time away from the course.