Tiger Woods Says He Hopes to Play in 2021 Masters After Surgery on Back Injury

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IFebruary 21, 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 is hoping to play in the 2021 Masters as he nears a return to the game following back surgery.

Serving as a host for Sunday's Genesis Open, Woods was noncommittal about his participation in any tournaments moving forward but said he will work with his doctors and surgeons to "do it correctly" (at the 1:05 mark). 


Tournament host @TigerWoods gives an update on his health and his plans for the near future. https://t.co/6TY3cXQIqK

"This is the only back I got," he said. "I don't have much more wiggle room left there." 


Shortly after appearing in the PNC Championship alongside his son Charlie, Woods announced he had his fifth microdiscectomy back surgery in order to remove "a pressurized disc fragment." 

The 45-year-old has been limited by back injuries in the past, which explains his willingness to take his return slow. He missed last year's Players Championship in March because of a back injury, several years after lower back fusion surgery in April 2017 sidelined him until January of the next year. 

He had microdiscectomy procedures in 2014 and 2015, as well.

"My body just has moments where it just doesn't work like it used to," Woods said last fall (h/t Daniel Rapaport of Golf Digest). "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."

When Woods announced that he would have surgery again, he acknowledged that he would miss the Farmers Insurance Open and the Genesis Invitational, but his original announcement did not clarify when he would return. 

Competition at the Masters is scheduled to begin April 8. 


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