Tiger Woods may not be in the field at this year’s Masters Tournament, but as expected, he still continues to make news no matter where he is. On Friday, Golf Channel’s Notah Begay III appeared on the Rich Eisen Show and was asked about the 14-time major champion, naturally. According to Begay, there’s still the potential for Woods to return at some point this season.
“[The Masters] probably wouldn’t have been the best place for Tiger to start the year out after this most recent setback, and I think we should probably look, maybe something just after the Players Championship,” Begay said.
The Players Championship takes place the second week of May. When asked if he would return for the U.S. Open at Erin Hills, Begay seemed optimistic about that as well.
“Oh, it’s a definite possibility,” Begay said. “That’s probably the event that’s circled on his calendar, but he’s got to at least get one or two starts in before that to see where his body, where his game’s at and if he can hit the shots he wants to hit.”
Begay’s optimistic outlook differs slightly from Mark O’Meara’s who sat next to Woods at Tuesday’s Masters Champions Dinner and said the 41 year-old is still clearly “struggling.”
“I feel for him,” O’Meara, who won the 1998 Masters, said after a practice round Wednesday, according to a Golf Channel report. “He’s day to day. He said, ‘Some days I have good days; some days I have bad days.’ [The pain] is pretty much in the same area in his lower back that he’s had the surgeries on. But he’s such a competitor that he can’t come out and play half of what he did.”
“The timetable for his return, I didn’t ask him, but you can tell that it’s kind of you just have to wait and see.”
— Masters Tournament (@TheMasters) April 5, 2017
Of course, this year marks the 20th anniversary of Woods’ triumphant first major victory shattering multiple records along the way to claiming his first of four green jackets.
“I know it’s a struggle for him, I can tell you that much,” O’Meara said of Woods, whom he has known for the past two decades. “He misses it. When you’re a competitor like he is, and you’ve accomplished what he has, he certainly misses being here and playing the game at a high level because that’s what he’s been all about for all of these years.”
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