Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the PGA Championship and is done for the season. He will have missed all four majors this year while trying to improve his back and overall health.
Brian Katrek wasn’t the least bit surprised.
“If he didn’t play in the U.S. Open, it was going to be hard, I thought, for him to play in a major this season,” the PGA Radio host said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “Because you had the British Open three weeks later and then the PGA Championship two weeks after that. You’d have to just be really lucky that that date that opened up for you to start playing rounds of golf and getting ready would have to have fallen in the exact window. Why couldn’t it have fallen there? Well, you’ve got to be more ready for the majors than you do for anything else. It wasn’t like there was going to be room for a warm-up start in there.”
Woods ranks second all-time with 14 major championships, but he hasn’t won one of golf’s top four events since the U.S. Open in 2008. In recent years, he’s missed cuts, withdrawn from events due to injury and poor play, and has rarely looked like the player who won seven majors from 1999 to 2002.
If Woods, 40, doesn’t think he can win a major, he doesn’t want to participate in it. It really is that simple. While we almost certainly haven’t seen the last of him, we’ve definitely seen the last of him this season.
“Tiger, we know, pushes himself,” Katrek said. “He told me this back in December: He doesn’t want to come back and just be a ceremonial golfer. He wants to come back and be at full strength and he’s not going to come back until he is full strength. So it’s not really a surprise. If he wasn’t ready at the U.S. Open, he wasn’t ready at the British, didn’t figure he’d be ready at the PGA, there’s no reason to rush it because then we’ve got this massive break. He’s got this massive break. He’s got all of August and all of September off basically because of the playoffs. He wouldn’t have a spot to play. So really, if you weren’t ready for the U.S. Open, it probably wasn’t going to happen this summer.”