Tiger Woods still uncertain about date of return to competitive golf

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Bethesda, MD, United States (4E Sports) – Tiger Woods is still uncertain when he will return to competitive golf, seven weeks after undergoing surgery to alleviate a pinched nerve in his back.

Woods, who still isn’t hitting full shots, could miss next month’s U.S. Open, which starts June 12 at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina.

“There really is no timetable,” Woods said Monday at Congressional Country Club. “I think that’s been kind of the realization to all of this, is that there’s no date.

“It’s just take it on a daily basis. It’s not going to be up to me whether I play or not, it’s going to be up to my docs. I want to play now. It would be nice to be able to go out there today and play,” he added.

Woods made his first public appearance Monday, the day he was passed by Adam Scott for the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking, since the March 31 surgery at Congressional Country Club, where the Quicken Loans National will be played starting June 26. The tournament benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation.

“I miss playing. I miss being out there on the golf course and doing that,” Woods said. “I miss getting out there and hitting balls like that and just playing. I miss the game.

“Forget about competing at the highest levels, I just miss being out there and just being around the golf course. As of right now, I can chip and putt, but that’s it,” he added.

Little appears to have changed since two weeks ago, when Woods wrote on his website that his rehab was “a slow process.” On Friday at a private clinic in Las Vegas, he said again that he hopes to return this summer but that he is in “no rush.”

But as several big tournaments approach, his ability to compete appears less likely. The U.S. Open at Pinehurst is just 24 days away. The Quicken Loans National is just two weeks later, and it would be a blow to him and his foundation were he to miss the tournament.

Quicken Loans is a new title sponsor of the 8-year-old event, one of three on the PGA Tour where proceeds are donated to his foundation. Woods missed the tournament last year with an elbow injury.

Woods has not played since the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship on March 9. A day after shooting 66 to get into contention, Woods was clearly in distress during a birdieless round of 78. It was just his fourth tournament of the year, and 25th place turned out to be his best finish.

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