Tiger Woods isn’t in the field this week at the PGA Championship, and it may be a while before we see him competing again.
Woods’ team announced in April that he had undergone a subtalar fusion procedure to address post-traumatic arthritis from the talus fracture he first sustained in his life-threatening car crash in 2021. He didn’t provide a timeline for his recovery, but his agent said that the first goal was to “lead a much more enjoyable day-to-day life.”
Standard recovery time for such a procedure is estimated to be within 8-12 weeks. At the very best, it’s possible that Woods could try to play at the British Open at Royal Liverpool in July. But based on his injury history, and the tight recovery timeline that would mean, it’s hard to imagine Woods rushing back before he’s absolutely ready.
Woods narrowly made the cut at Augusta National last month after a slow and rainy first few days in Georgia. He then withdrew from the tournament on Sunday morning with 29 holes left. Woods has made the cut there every time since he first turned pro in 1997, and matched the record of 23 straight cuts this spring. But throughout his time there this year, Woods looked like he was in a tremendous amount of pain. He was limping throughout the course, and was 6-over when play was called for the day in the third round due to rain.
Though he’s only played a few times, Woods has completed just one tournament since last year’s Masters. He made it through the Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles in February, a tournament he hosts each year, after barely making the cut on the number. Woods withdrew from last year’s PGA Championship due to an injury, and then missed the cut at the British Open.
Woods, a 15-time major championship winner, has won the PGA Championship four times in his career. His last win at the event came in 2007, when he beat Woody Austin by two strokes at Southern Hills Country Club in Oklahoma. That was one of seven PGA Tour wins Woods recorded that season.
Outside of the PNC Championship in December — the unofficial event he normally plays with his son, Charlie — he may not try to play again competitively until next year’s Genesis Invitational. While there’s still plenty of big names in the golf world at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York, this week, Woods will be watching from home.