Reports: Tiger Woods’ Suffers Setback, Still No Timetable For Return

Sunday at Riviera, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson were all tied for the lead at the Northern Trust Open for a short period of time. It was cool and exciting and portended an amazing Sunday finish at a historic golf course. What’s more, we didn’t even have a thought about Tiger Woods. 

In fact, an actual thought that crossed my head was, “even without Spieth, this should be good.” That was fun while it lasted. A quick look at Twitter dot com changed that blissful Tiger-less afternoon. The Secret Tour Pro was active and had a Tiger update:

Every Tiger update needs to be taken with a grain of salt and looked upon with a skeptical eye. After all, for being the most public and prolific golfer alive today, Tiger does a pretty good job of being invisible. Woods hasn’t been seen publicly since he drove around Albany Golf Club in a cart during his Hero World Challenge late last year and the last concrete reports of his whereabouts came during a birthday party at his restaurant later that same month.

In 2016, there hasn’t been any word — sourced or otherwise — about Tiger’s recovery, rehabilitation or possible return to professional golf until Sunday. Then, on Monday, former Fox Sports golf writer Robert Lusetich added some gravitas to the STP’s claim with his own report:

With Lusetich’s name on the reporting, the rumor picked up more steam, until it was refuted by ESPN’s Bob Harig. Harig has long had a solid professional relationship with the Woods camp and tweeted his own report, citing Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg:

In the piece, Steinberg is quoted as saying, “the tweets that appeared this weekend about Tiger’s health are ridiculous and absolutely false. It’s reprehensible that every few months someone makes something up and it’s treated like a real story. Tiger continues to work on his rehabilitation and we will have an accurate update at the appropriate time.”

So, if you’re keeping track at home, Tiger — who is not in the field at this week’s Honda Classic, a home game for him — is somewhere between bedridden and rehabbing to make a return. 

Really, the only thing that can be said definitively at this point is that Tiger remains the golfing world’s sun. Reports, whether based in facts or not, can own a news cycle. When we will get some definitive info on Tiger’s rehab and return is anyone’s guess, but until a post pops up on, there will always be a shadow of doubt cast upon it.