Newspaper article International New York Times

His Game in Tatters, Woods Will Take a Break ; Former Top-Ranked Golfer Gives No Timeline for His Return to PGA Tour

Newspaper article International New York Times

His Game in Tatters, Woods Will Take a Break ; Former Top-Ranked Golfer Gives No Timeline for His Return to PGA Tour

Article excerpt

In his last two tournaments, Tiger Woods, who has won 14 major tournaments, has missed the cut and withdrawn because of injury.

The soap opera that has become Tiger Woods's life took another shadowy turn when Woods announced he was taking an indefinite leave of absence from competitive golf to work on his floundering game.

The announcement, made Wednesday on Woods's website, was not unexpected. Woods has been playing the worst golf of his career, and he withdrew from last week's tournament with a back injury.

But the lack of details about how long he will be sidelined -- and his comment that the leave is not related to last year's back surgery -- created yet another tempest for Woods, this time surrounding what is at the root of his temporary exit.

This winter, Woods has been altering his swing yet again with another new coach, but his greatest failings lately have seemed to be mental. He has repeatedly flubbed routine shots near the green that were once the strength of his game.

The question raised throughout the golf community Wednesday was whether Woods -- once the steeliest competitor in golf -- was seeking help from a sports psychologist, a swing tutor, a back specialist, or all three.

There is a chance that Woods's respite will be short, and there is also a remote possibility that it could be lengthy. Woods has been unpredictable and secretive about his schedule, training methods and psychological preparedness.

He could resume competing in two weeks at the PGA Tour's Honda Classic, near his home in Florida. But in the past, Woods has also taken more extended breaks because it is hard to reinvent or relearn a masterly golf game quickly.

Still, anything longer than seven weeks would mean that Woods would miss the Masters, which begins April 9.

The overarching goal of Woods's golf career has been to exceed Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 major championships. Woods has claimed 14, but he has not had a major victory in seven years. He has won the Masters four times.

"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 on his website. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.