Tiger Woods, the 15-time major winner, announced on Tuesday that he had undergone a fifth surgery on his back and expected to miss the first two months of the year on the PGA Tour.
“I look forward to begin training and am focused on getting back out on Tour,” Woods, 45, said in a statement posted to social media.
It was the fifth operation Woods had undergone on his back in the past seven years, and the fourth time that the golfer has had the microdiscectomy surgery. The procedure was performed to remove a disc fragment that was pinching a nerve. He underwent the same procedure three times in 2014 and ’15 before having spinal fusion surgery in 2017.
Woods has contended with unpredictable back pain over the years, and his 2020 starts yielded just one top-10 finish, a tie for ninth in January at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course. In mid-February, he became stiff and repeatedly grimaced throughout the final two rounds of the Genesis Invitational, where he shot an 11 over par and finished last among the golfers who made the cut.
Woods also withdrew from a series of March tournaments before the PGA Tour was shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
After the tour resumed in June, Woods played erratically and did not finish higher than a tie for 37th. At the Memorial Tournament in July, he had a strong first round but stiffened so much in later rounds that he was unable to take a full golf swing.
In the six majors played since his 2019 Masters victory, he has missed the cut three times, tied for 21st, tied for 37th and tied for 38th.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.