March 16, 2020 / 10:55 PM / 21 days ago

There are more important things than golf, says Tiger

FILE PHOTO: Tiger Woods tees off the 9th hole during the final round of the Zozo Championship, a PGA Tour event, at Narashino Country Club in Inzai, Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, Japan October 27, 2019, in this photo released by Kyodo. Kyodo/via REUTERS

(Reuters) - American Tiger Woods sought to put the cancellations of a slew of golf tournaments due to the coronavirus into perspective on Monday, saying the well-being of others trumped the sport.

“There are a lot more important things in life than a golf tournament right now,” the 15-times major champion wrote on Twitter.

“We need to be safe, smart and do what is best for ourselves, our loved ones and our community.”

Woods, 44, has been struggling recently with pain in his surgically-repaired back but had hoped to defend the Masters title he won last year at Augusta National next month.

Last week organisers of the year’s first major postponed the tournament in the hopes of helping slow the spread of the growing pandemic.

The decision to postpone the year’s first major came the day after the PGA Tour canceled the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Florida after one round and all events through April 5.

Woods’ remarks came on the heels of the Centers for Disease Control recommendation on Sunday that events of 50 or more people should be canceled for the next eight weeks throughout the United States.

The coronavirus pandemic has infected almost 180,000 people and killed over 7,000 worldwide.

Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Ken Ferris

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