Struggling Woods to miss next week's Honda Classic

Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:27pm EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

PACIFIC PALISADES, California (Reuters) - Tiger Woods will skip next week's Honda Classic at Palm Beach Gardens in Florida, raising questions about his prospects of competing in the year's first major, the April 9-12 Masters.

Woods, who had back surgery last year, has played just two PGA Tour events this season and said last week he would not return to competition until he felt his game was "tournament-ready."

"His manager spoke to us this afternoon and told us that Tiger will not play next week," Honda Classic media director Gary Ferman told Reuters.

Woods's manager Mark Steinberg later told Reuters by telephone: "Tiger has been working on his game this week and, right now, is looking to come back when he feels that he is tournament-ready."

Woods, a 14-times major champion, struggled badly in his first two events this year.

He posted the highest score of his professional career, with his short game in complete disarray, as he carded a mind-boggling 11-over-par 82 to miss the cut at the Phoenix Open last month.

He looked no better two weeks ago at Torrey Pines where he was two over par after 11 holes when he decided to pull out because of tightness in his back, his third withdrawal in his last nine tournaments dating back to last year's Honda Classic.

Woods, who has not won a major title since the 2008 U.S. Open, is still adapting to the fifth swing change of his career.   Continued...

Feb 5, 2015; La Jolla, CA, USA; Tiger Woods walks up the 13th during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course - South Co. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports