Well, this shouldn’t really be a surprise at this point, but Tiger Woods won’t be playing next week’s Masters.
Woods announced the decision via his site, citing lack of preparedness:
“Unfortunately, I won’t be competing in this year’s Masters. I did about everything I could to play, but my back rehabilitation didn’t allow me the time to get tournament ready. I’m especially upset because it’s a special anniversary for me that’s filled with a lot of great memories. I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since I won my first green jacket.
“I have no timetable for my return, but I will continue my diligent effort to recover, and want to get back out there as soon as possible.”
Tiger hasn’t played the Masters since 2015, and as he missed the 2014 edition through injury, this means he’ll have played just once over the past four years.
Wikipedia hasn’t even bothered to add Woods’s 2016 DNPs into his major results timeline:
It also means Tiger will miss the 20th anniversary of his first major win at the ’97 Masters, which was truly a turning point for golf and the world of sports as a whole.
Repeated back injuries have haunted Woods over the past few seasons, with his most recent comeback effort ruined by back spasms in Dubai. The Masters was seen as a long shot, but when word surfaced that Woods was scheduled to deliver a press conference next week in Augusta, speculation grew that he might indeed tee it up.
This Friday night news dump ends that particular hope, and it remains to be seen whether or not Woods plays again this year. It’s really disappointing, but at this point, it’s probably best to assume he’s not going to be Tiger Woods again, and treat any further competitive golf we get from him as a bonus.