(Reuters) - Media speculation that Tiger Woods would make his PGA Tour return at next week’s Wells Fargo Championship proved false when his name was not included in the official field for the event after Friday’s deadline.
Players had until 5 p.m. EDT to register for the May 5-8 tournament at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina and Woods was a conspicuous absentee when the PGA Tour eventually released the full field.
A few hours earlier on the opposite side of the country, Woods gave a strong indication that even he did not know when he would be making his competitive comeback as he continues his recovery from back surgeries.
On the first day of his annual ‘Tiger Jam’ in Las Vegas, the former world number one hosted a golf clinic where he answered a few questions from those attending.
Asked when he would make his PGA Tour return, Woods replied: “Dude, if I knew, I would tell you. I‘m sick of being on the sidelines ... I want to compete against these boys. I miss it.”
The 14-times major champion has not competed anywhere since he tied for 10th at the Wyndham Championship in August as back surgeries then curtailed his campaign, but he has ramped up his practice routine in recent weeks while at home in Florida.
Some analysts had suggested that Woods could make his PGA Tour return as early as the Wells Fargo Championship, but his manager Mark Steinberg said last week there was “nothing new to report” with regard to a timetable.
On Monday, that was confirmed by Woods on his website when he said: ”I haven’t set any date for when I‘m playing again, which is frustrating to say. But to be honest with you, that’s what I’ve had to do. I’ve had to go with that mindset.
“I still have a long way to go. I‘m on the back side ... getting closer to feeling better every day.”
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Larry Fine