Tiger Woods ailing, seems in danger of missing Masters

This is how Tiger Woods’ last tournament ended in La Jolla, Calif. There’s no telling when he plays again. (Getty Images)

I realize this won’t go over well with buttoned up, old school golf fans who believe nothing could possibly diminish the appeal of their beloved Masters. But the weekend ratings for last year’s Masters were the worst since 1957, and that was at least part because Tiger Woods wasn’t there.

It’s reasonable to wonder if he won’t be there again this year.

This is how Tiger Woods' last tournament ended in La Jolla, Calif. There's no telling when he plays again. (Getty Images)

This is how Tiger Woods’ last tournament ended in La Jolla, Calif. There’s no telling when he plays again. (Getty Images)

Two months before the Masters, and with his game, his body and certainly his head not in tournament shape, Woods announced Wednesday he is taking another break from the game. A statement on his website read in part, “Right now, I need a lot of work on my game, and to still spend time with the people that are important to me. My play, and scores, are not acceptable for tournament golf. Like I’ve said, I enter a tournament to compete at the highest level, and when I think I’m ready, I’ll be back.”

I watched Woods play the first round of the Phoenix Open. He was pretty awful. He was 4-over after four holes and 5-over after nine before settling in at 2-over-73. That turned out to be the good day. He ballooned an 11-over-82 in the second round and missed the cut. But with Marshawn Lynch and the Super Bowl in town, at least Woods managed a timely joke after his second round: “I’m only here so I won’t get fined.”

He was playing so poorly at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif., last week, saying he had tightness in his back, that he withdrew after 11 holes. Woods has had a variety of physical ailments and missed the Masters last year because of “minor” back surgery. But at this point, I’m not sure that his mental state isn’t worse than his physical state. He’s suffering from a lack of confidence in his game and possibly a lack of will to play through injuries.

Woods’ entire statement:

The last two weeks have been very disappointing to me, especially Torrey, because I never want to withdraw. Unfortunately, lately injuries have made that happen too often.

This latest injury is not related to my previous surgery. I am having daily physical therapy and I am feeling better every day.

Right now, I need a lot of work on my game, and to still spend time with the people that are important to me. My play, and scores, are not acceptable for tournament golf. Like I’ve said, I enter a tournament to compete at the highest level, and when I think I’m ready, I’ll be back. Next week I will practice at Medalist and at home getting ready for the rest of the year. I am committed to getting back to the pinnacle of my game. I’d like to play The Honda Classic — it’s a tournament in my hometown and it’s important to me — but I won’t be there unless my game is tournament-ready. That’s not fair to anyone. I do, however, expect to be playing again very soon.

I want to thank the fans in Phoenix and San Diego. They were amazing. I greatly appreciate everyone’s support.

Woods has slipped to a career-worst 62nd in the world rankings, and he hasn’t won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open. But he still moves the meter in ticket sales and television ratings. Sports Media Watch reported after last year’s Masters that the 3.9 rating for Saturday’s round was the lowest since 1957 (1.2). The final round earned a 6.8 rating, down 28 percent from 2013 (9.4) and 15 percent from 2012 (8.0). Only the 1980, 1961 and 1957 earned lower numbers.

Logic says Woods will do anything possible to be in Augusta in April. But everything else right now says he won’t be there.

Some recent ramblings from the digital jukebox
— AJC: Trade likely means Hawks are planning for something
— MyAJC: Kyle Shanahan, the coach’s son, has absorbed a lot of jabs
— AJC: Greg Hardy skates (and is he worth the risk for Falcons)?
— MyAJC: Hawks’ deadline move wouldn’t hurt chemistry
— AJC: Tech doing just fine, recruiting rankings notwithstanding
— MyAJC: Dan Quinn’s ascent to top job was years in making
— AJC: Forget trade talk — Dan Quinn wants Julio Jones on his team
— AJC: Falcons need players but Dan Quinn is a good start
— MyAJC: Tom Brady takes the air out of critics in Super Bowl
— AJC: Short takes: Brady rallies Pats but Seahawks bungle ending
— AJC: Another possible embarrassment for Falcons: Fake crowd noise
— MyAJC: There’s no confusion about pecking order on Super Bowl teams
— AJC: Dan Quinn could have final day on 53-man roster
— MyAJC: Blank speaks but remains vague on Falcons’ restructuring
— MyAJC: Tiger Woods’ problems aren’t just physical anymore
— AJC: Is it Tiger time … or is Tiger Woods’ time over?
— MyAJC: LeGarrette Blount walked out on team — and straight to Super Bowl
— AJC: Georgia’s Lockette playing for third straight Super Bowl team
— MyAJC: Dan Quinn says he’s ready for next challenge (with Falcons)
— AJC: Lynch goes into interview Beast Mode again (surprise!)
— MyAJC: Great or not, Patriots’ legacy is forever tarnished
— AJC: Seattle players say Quinn will be ‘great head coach’ for Falcons
— AJC: Brady says ‘feelings got hurt’ by accusations (really?)
— MyAJC: Hawks are closest team to rare Atlanta sports title

Reader Comments 0

40 comments
Reasonable2
Reasonable2

While I'm pretty sure Tiger wasn't a good human being, he was one h*ll of a golfer!  He was really fun to watch, and he jacked up tournament money tremendously...just ask his fellow pros!  I also think he was using PED's and messed up his body.



maxman2660
maxman2660

damn, not only is tiger gettin old but know he is goin bald,suck's don't it jeff

Wilbo
Wilbo

Good. He shouldn't be there. He had his 15 minutes, and great though they were, time's up, and he now needs to fade into well deserved obscurity.


I believe he was a heavy PED user, but doubt we'll ever know. I say peepee on him.


His aura will fade. New exciting stars will come along and golf will be fine. Things, people's attentions, etc rise and fall. That's life.


I was a rope holding marshall at the 1970 Masters. Great show, but I don't remember much about it except for there was an Arby's right near the course, and I thought that roast beef sandwich was fantastic. I wouldn't eat something like that now if you paid me. Peoples' tastes and interests change. I don't care if 50 people attend/watch the Masters. Move along nothing to see here. It'll be back in its own time.


As far as minority people at the Masters go, I'm more interested in Condoleeza Rice being a member at Augusta than I am seeing a worn out roidhead,  serial adulterer play.


We make social progress in our own ways. Adios Tiger...

RatcheeseRollo
RatcheeseRollo

He can't drive the ball.   Game over until he can...

SaulK
SaulK

to boost ratings, CBS and the masters needs to pay tiger $5 million + just to show up and play a couple of rounds--they can make this money back easy in big ratings dollars!  

SportsTopFan
SportsTopFan

SportsTopFan(c) and many golf and sports FANS wish Tiger Woods good health, luck and success in the future !!!


The Professional Golf Association (PGA) icon need our prayers and good wishes.

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

Didn't Tiger spend plenty of time with family the last two years when he was injured and rehabbing? Dude now has an Oxy habit that replaced his drive to be the best.

96JB
96JB

Well they better get use to it, cause challenging for Championships is something you will never see again from Tiger. He'll try to play, and when he's stinking it up. he'll " wink wink" grab his back. Tiger made a bad pro move by reshaping his body with too much bulk and muscle to give his game " power" to keep up with the young guns.....and it ruined his game and back. He should of stayed with what got him there and he would be fine. It's going to hurt watching him try to compete again. He was the best. He's a side show at a Insurance convention tourny now to raise money.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Those PED's are wearing completely off...................wreck!...................not the GT version.

TheRealJDW
TheRealJDW

WOW...tickets might go down to "only" $5K on the open market.

ShovelPlease
ShovelPlease

Somehow I think The Masters will go on.  And golf fans couldn't care less about tv ratings.  

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

The era of golf being all about Tiger is over, deal with it.  He may revive his game and win a couple of more tournaments, but he will never dominate the game again.  The Masters will be around much longer than Tiger.  


He can always volunteer to be in the "starter" group with Palmer and Nicklaus, if he wants to be there. 

PJ25
PJ25

Like Nascar and tennis, golf is dying with the Baby Boomers and making matters worse is the entire sport revolves around one shady character named Tiger who has jumped the shark himself. 

OH_IO
OH_IO

It's Rory's world. We just live in it. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH_IO

Part of the price we pay for posting on AJC blogs.

mikeonthelake
mikeonthelake

is that angel Cabrera in the green shirt? and what is that dude doin on the back of the golf cart??


Truthyness
Truthyness

Tiger Woods they do not appreciate you at  the Masters.  I remember those old goats complaining about  your language and your personality all the while rolling in the dough that your name and participation produced.  The Masters need you!  You do not need the Masters!  I was there when you did not play at the Buick open at Callaway Gardens and the tournament folded like a cheap tent and good for them.  Tiger you have millions, skip the Masters and start your own Country Club golf tournament at the same time as the Masters.  I and many others will watch it instead of the Masters.  Your membership could be all inclusive with women and minority members.  You will make millions more, and your name will be immortalized to replace the Masters.  Think of the endorsements for a younger more diverse worldwide audience.  I will back you!  Stop feeding the mouths that constantly slander you!!  Start your Own tournament!!!!

RangeRover
RangeRover

@Truthyness

Hard to imagine that out of a million sperm cells you were the fastest to the egg!

Remember, there's hundred of thousands of white men burned in national cemeteries who paid the ultimate price for your freedom, you dimwitted, ungrateful piece of dung!

RealKat
RealKat

@Truthyness The Masters existed before Tiger, and will exist after Tiger. Golf is not one man, however incredible his abilities are/were.

Truthyness
Truthyness

@RangeRover I realize "that there's hundred of thousands of white men buried in national cemeteries who paid the ultimate price for my freedom".  And I salute every one of them!!!  But, there are also thousands of "Men" of Native American, Asian, Hispanic, and black heritage buried in those National cemeteries, who died for "your" and "my"  freedom as well as thousands of women who paid the ultimate price, and I- unlike you- "salute them" also!!!  You left them out of your flag waving partner, Again!!

fatleo
fatleo

@joeintuckerr -- quit poking fun at the short bus ... not pc in my book, only rude

Reddawg74
Reddawg74

@Truthyness @RangeRover 

You are both right....except I think it would be hard for Tiger to start his own tournament during the Masters.  No doubt he brings ratings because he is who he is regardless of how he plays and make no mistake the Augusta boys want him there even if he is hitting bad shots.  The guy has a demon in his swing right now that I think he will fix.  If you play golf if happens to everyone. 

Quackmeyer
Quackmeyer

@Truthyness  That cheap tent folding you mentioned would be Tiger's tourney folding if it was opposite the Masters.  The top players will always go to the Masters and Tiger's event would showcase the bottom 1/3 of the world rankings.

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

@Truthyness Tiger had one episode of going brain dead that cost him about 100 million, he is smart enough to not do it a second time so you can forget him trying to start a tournament when the sport is on the decline. 

TOJacket
TOJacket

@fatleo @joeintucker Did you change classes............or stay in the same one all day?....sometimes that pc stuff is harmless...........don't take things so personal.

goblue86
goblue86

@Infraredguy @Truthyness One episode?  It was going on with multiple women over a couple of years.  Might want to look up the definition of "one episode".

-sting-
-sting-

stick a fork in him.

Blasingame
Blasingame

Tiger is yesterday's news.  Couldn't happen to a more deserving worthless human being.  He has always been a lousy person; now, he's a lousy golfer too.

Rory_Bellows
Rory_Bellows

OK.....The two guys on the back of that cart.......Why are they having sex? 

Hale_Trump!
Hale_Trump!

Godd he nuttin but a thug who cheets on his wive. 

lithoman353
lithoman353

I hope he dosnt play. Tired of the media gushing over this fool!