Bad news as Woods takes indefinite break

David Charlesworth

Tiger Woods has announced he will take an indefinite break from golf as he bids to overcome his latest injury scare and poor form.

The 14-time major champion withdrew midway through his first round at last week's Farmers Insurance Open in California due to back pain although he has allayed fears over the setback.

Of more pressing concern for the 39-year-old is his recent struggles on the course, with his injury coming six days after recording the worst round of his career - an 11-over-par 82 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

"Right now, I need a lot of work on my game, and to still spend time with the people that are important to me," Woods wrote in a statement.

"My play, and scores, are not acceptable for tournament golf. Like I've said, I enter a tournament to compete at the highest level, and when I think I'm ready, I'll be back."

While Woods does not feel his game is yet up to scratch, he hopes to be ready to play The Honda Classic, which gets under way on February 26.

"Next week I will practice at Medalist and at home getting ready for the rest of the year. I am committed to getting back to the pinnacle of my game," he said.


"I'd like to play The Honda Classic - it's a tournament in my hometown and it's important to me - but I won't be there unless my game is tournament-ready. That's not fair to anyone. I do, however, expect to be playing again very soon."

The American withdrew from last year's event in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, after 13 holes with back pain and would eventually have to undergo surgery in April on a pinched nerve which forced him to miss the Masters and the US Open.

Yet any thoughts that he has aggravated the problem were dismissed.

"The last two weeks have been very disappointing to me, especially Torrey, because I never want to withdraw. Unfortunately, lately injuries have made that happen too often," he said. "This latest injury is not related to my previous surgery. I am having daily physical therapy and I am feeling better every day."

Since his return from last year's injury, Woods has struggled to recapture the form. He finished 69th at the British Open at Royal Liverpool in July, while a month later he missed just his fourth cut in 66 majors as a pro after suffering yet more back trouble at the US PGA Championship at Valhalla.

Woods made an underwhelming return to golf by shooting a five-over-par first round at the Hero World Challenge in December and it has gone from bad to worse in his first two tournaments of 2015.