Tiger Woods Announces Surgery on Back Injury, Expected to Make Full Recovery

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIIJanuary 19, 2021

Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the first hole during the first round of the PNC Championship golf tournament, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Tiger Woods' 2021 debut will be delayed after the golf legend had back surgery, he announced Tuesday.

In a statement released to Twitter, it was revealed that Woods had a procedure to remove "a pressurized disc fragment that was pinching his nerve," an injury that had led to discomfort since the PNC Championship in December. 

"I look forward to begin training and am focused on getting back out on Tour," he said. 

As he recovers, Woods will not participate as planned in the 2021 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines or the 2021 Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, the latter of which is scheduled for Feb. 18-21. According to the statement, he will still serve as the tournament host at the Genesis Invitational.

According to Daniel Rapaport of Golf Digest, "the hope" is that Woods will be able to play in the Masters, beginning April 8. 

Woods' last outing came at the PNC Championship, where he and his 11-year-old son Charlie finished in seventh place, with the younger Woods impressing while emulating his father in both look and play.

The 45-year-old has been plagued by injuries throughout his legendary PGA Tour career. He did not play in the Players Championship last March because of a back injury and last winter admitted to feeling the effects of aging. 

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

"I feel stiff, but I have weeks like that, especially on cold mornings like it was the other day. Don't quite move as well and that's just kind of how it's going to go," he said, via Dylan Dethier of Golf

His last major break from the sport came in 2017, when he had lower back fusion surgery in April that kept him off of the green until January 2018. Pinched nerves in his back had limited him in the past, and he had two microdiscectomy procedures in April 2014 and September 2015. 

Per Rapaport, this is Woods' fifth back surgery.

"My body just has moments where it just doesn't work like it used to," Woods said in November (h/t Rapaport). "No matter how hard I try, things just don't work the way they used to, and no matter how much I push and ask of this body, it just doesn't work at times."