Tiger Woods withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines on Thursday, failing to make it through the 12th hole due to a back injury. It is the third time in the last eight tournaments that Woods, 39, has pulled out due to injury.
At this point, we have to wonder: Is Woods done?
“I think it’s a very legitimate question to ask,” Golfweek Magazine senior writer David Dusek said on Ferrall on the Bench. “At this point right now, after the surgery he had last year – which was supposedly going to fix his problem – the only tournament he was able to complete was the Open Championship. He pretty much shut it down, was a shell of his former self, didn’t qualify because of poor play in the FedEx Cup, didn’t warrant anything to play in the Ryder Cup. He played one tournament poorly – the Hero World Challenge in his own event in December in Windermere, Florida – and last week shot the moon out there at TPC Scottsdale. The guy is battling poor play.”
Woods was in Colorado earlier this week to support his girlfriend, Lindsey Vonn, at the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships.
“He’s playing terribly and he’s over there in Colorado watching skiing when he needs to be really grinding and working it out,” Dusek said. “But maybe he knew his back was having problems. He said in Scottsdale that his back was fine and everything was okay, but he wasn’t able to get around 18 holes today before he had to pull out. He’s sprained every which way. We have no idea at this point – he said very little as he was leaving Torrey Pines today – about exactly how much of a problem this is. He blamed the fog delay. Lots and lots of questions and not very many answers as far as short-term and long-term. Who knows at this point exactly what we’re going to get from Tiger going forward?”
Woods was in so much pain Thursday that other people were picking up tees for him and picking his balls out of the hole.
“Absolutely,” Dusek said. “There were a couple of shots where Tiger Woods would hit a tee shot, noticeably grimace and Billy Horschel sort of swooped in and picked up the tee and handed it to him.”
Woods said the two-and-a-half-hour fog delay Thursday was extremely troublesome. During that time, his back squeezed up, he couldn’t get it loose and he bogeyed two of his first three holes.
It was all downhill from there.
“The delay cost him,” Duske said. “The delay was the problem. But he was getting a lot of assistance. He was clearly grimacing with a lot of pain and discomfort. His shots were spraying all over the place. He was walking at some points like an old man. He used his club as a cane to walk down a couple of hills. It was very clear to everybody that he was not a happy camper making his way around Torrey Pines today.”