Tiger Skipping Players Championship Due To Back Stiffness

The PGA Tour’s flagship event will begin on Thursday without the PGA Tour’s biggest star.

Tiger Woods announced on Friday that he would be missing this week’s Players Championship due to lingering back stiffness.

In text messages to GolfChannel and ESPN, Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, said, “He’s not going to play. (His) back (is) just not ready; not concerning long-term, just not ready.”

“It was not an easy decision, but I will not be attending The Players Championship,” Woods tweeted. “I have to listen to my body and properly rest when needed. My back is simply just not ready for play next week. I’m sad to miss one of the best events of the season, OUR championship.”

Woods last played at his foundation-hosted Genesis Invitational three weeks ago in Los Angeles at Riviera Country Club. Woods made the cut, but finished last among those to play the weekend.

He has opted out of playing each of the last three weeks in events that Woods has played in the past — the WGC Mexico-Championship, the Honda Classic and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Earlier this week, Woods’ friend and Golf Channel analyst Notah Begay III hinted that Woods may have not been ready to compete on Golf Central.

“This is something that he’s going to battle with over the next few years,” Begay III said of Woods’ back. “It’s just the ebbs and flows of dealing with the physical challenges in his back. I mean, how many surgeries he’s had and just try to recover the mobility. More importantly trying to get enough days in a row where he’s feeling good and getting some reps in. If you’re not able to put the practice in you’re certainly not going to be able to show up at a place like TPC Sawgrass and have the requisite skills to go out and defend yourself on a golf course that exposes everybody.

“Things are starting to progress for him a little bit and hopefully we see him next week.”