Just a few days after announcing his return to the PGA Tour, Tiger Woods put it on ice.
“After a lot of soul searching and honest reflection, I know that I am not yet ready to play on the PGA Tour,” he said on his official website. “My health is good, and I feel strong, but my game is vulnerable and not where it needs to be.”
In other words, Woods’ game isn’t good enough for him to show it to the public. Not a terrible thing, even this far removed from his last Major win, he still has an air of invincibility around him.
That means no spot in the Safeway Open, no pairing with Phil Mickleson, and no trip to Turkey either.
“When I announced last week I was going to Safeway, I had every intention of playing, or I wouldn’t have committed. I spent a week with the U.S. Ryder Cup team [as a vice captain], an honor and experience that inspired me even more to play. I practiced the last several days in California, but after a lot of hours, I knew I wasn’t ready to compete against the best golfers in the world.” he wrote on the site.
Woods’ agent Leigh Steinberg said it was more likely that Woods’ own Hero World Challenge will mark his return to professional golf.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate and Tiger doesn’t think it’s appropriate for him to have his first tournament back not be part of the PGA Tour,” Steinberg said. “That decision has nothing to do with health or projecting where his golf game is going to be in three weeks. It’s out of respect to the PGA Tour. It didn’t feel right, so we decided we should just wait and look at the Hero World Challenge to be his return date.”