Sports

Woods out for rest of season

Tiger Woods has shut it down for the rest of the professional golf season, bringing into question his playing future as the best golfer of his generation will be away from the sport for over a year when, and if, he returns.

Woods, who is recovering from multiple back surgeries that have kept him out of action for nearly a year, hinted earlier this year that he might not play this season, but it was finally made official yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The US PGA Championship announced that Woods had withdrawn from the July 28-31 event at Baltusrol, marking the first time he will miss all four Majors in a calendar year, while his agent confirmed his client is done for the season.

"Not going to play in the 15/16 season. We will assess this Fall when to come back and play for the 16/17 season," Mark Steinberg said in an e-mail to Reuters after Golf Channel had first reported the news.

The 2016-17 US PGA Tour season starts in mid-October in Napa, California, which marks the start of a seven-tournament run through November before the schedule resumes in January.

No one, not even Woods, can possibly know how the former world No. l will fare when he makes his PGA Tour return after an absence that dates back to the Wyndham Championship in August 2015, where he tied for 10th.

Woods, famously, used to say he would never tee it up in a golf tournament unless he thought he was capable of winning and he is clearly being cautious about rushing his return to a game that has since seen a handful of young stars crowd the top of the world rankings.

In mid-May, Woods said he was "progressing nicely", but then hit three balls into the water on a short par-three hole during an exhibition to promote a tournament he hosts.

Last month, Woods indicated that he might not return to competition this year, saying he needed to be patient during his recovery.

A winner of 79 PGA Tour titles, Woods' ranking has plummeted to a mind-boggling 628th.

The 40-year-old Woods has not won a tournament since 2013 and last won a Major at the 2008 US Open.

- Reuters.

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