Tiger Woods spoke with the media Monday morning, but he didn’t have an answer to the question on everyone’s mind: Will he be healthy enough to play the Masters?
"For Augusta, it's still a little too soon to be honest with you," said Woods, who withdrew from last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational with back spasms. "It's kind of the frustrating thing about this. ... I'm getting treatment, but as of right now, it's still too soon."
After winning five times in 2013, Woods has had a rough start in 2014. In January, he missed the Saturday cut at Torrey Pines, a venue at which he has won seven regular Tour events and a U.S. Open. He finished T41 at the Dubai Desert Challenge in early February and then skipped the Accenture Match Play Challenge.
He returned at the Honda Classic in early March, shooting his best round of the season on Saturday and then withdrawing with a bad back after 13 holes on Sunday. The following week at Doral, where he was defending champion, Woods got into contention with a Saturday 66 and then shot 78 on Sunday and looked visibly pained by his back.
Woods has said that his back spasms are similar to problems he had with his back toward the end of last season. On Monday, he was not asked about a recent report that he is suffering from a bulging disk in his back.
Woods spoke at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., following a press conference announcing Quicken Loans as the new sponsor of the Woods-hosted Washington, D.C., Tour stop, which raises money for the Tiger Woods Foundation. AT&T has hosted the event since 2007 and will sponsor the 2014 tournament at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., June 26-29. AT&T used to sponsor Woods as well, but dropped his endorsement deal following his scandals in 2009.
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