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Tiger Woods Health Update: Unsettling Back Injury Reveal Kills PGA Championship Excitement

Published 05/14/2024, 12:59 PM EDT

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via Reuters

The 15th major winner, Tiger Woods, is 48 years old, yet he is still quite an active golfer. There have been several instances when he was spotted limping on the greens or having health issues like influenza, but he always persevered through. Woods’s journey has not been easy! He has been through a lot, both physically and mentally. He has undergone a lot of surgeries and has fought through various nerve-wracking injuries. His 2021 near-fatal accident was just the tipping point. It made things harder for him and made him sit out the competitions a lot, but he came back and now seems to be more ready than ever.

He will be teeing up at Valhalla in a couple of days, and during the pre-tournament conference, he revealed a concerning reality about his health. As you may suspect from the history of his injuries, it is his back again that seems to be troubling him. Yet again! Woods was reminded of how a decade ago he had to face extreme back issues. In 2014, the golfer had to undergo surgery and subsequently withdrew from the Masters for the first time in his career. Now that he was asked to compare his back health from a decade ago, the golfer explained there have been no significant differences. He stated, “It’s not different. At that time, I was maybe one back procedure into it. Now it’s a hell of a lot more than that number.”

Tiger Woods made it vocal that ever since 2014, he has had several other health issues, and it has not helped in any improvement of his back. Instead, he confessed, “Back is now fused, as you know.” He also reflected on how he felt back in 2014 and how he feels now. The golfer said, “Yeah, coming into 2014, I wasn’t feeling very good. But I’m always going to feel soreness and stiffness in my back, but that’s okay. I just need other body parts to start feeling better.”

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USA Today via Reuters

Woods WD from 2023 Masters for plantar fasciitis pain. He then underwent ankle surgery and was out of the professional game. He returned to play at the Hero World Challenge and alerted everyone to his health. He mentioned “Just like when I had my back fused. The force still has to go somewhere. So it’s up the chain.” He then came to play at the Genesis Invitational but had to WD before the second round commenced because of the flu. However, the first round was not that good either. “My back spasmed on it. It had been spasming over the last three holes, and it just locked up on me and didn’t move or rotate,” said Woods. 

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In 2021, Woods decided to have his fifth microdiscectomy on his back in January to remove a bulging disc. His back problems have been long-standing now, and one could say that Tiger Woods and his injuries just walk parallel to each other. What happened in 2014 that made the golfer feel less good? 

Tiger Woods’s 2014 back health replayed

It was March 2014 when Woods had to withdraw from the final round of the Honda Classic. Although he had shot 5-over 40 on the front nine, there were no signs of proceeding further with his pain. Back then, it was brought to our attention that this lower back spasm was something he had also felt when he fell on his knees a year ago in Barclays.

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Following this, Woods had to undergo surgery in April 2014 “for a pinched nerve in his back.” And because of that, he had to miss his Masters appearance that year. Again, in August, he withdrew from yet another final round. This time it was the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, and his back issues remained a constant trouble throughout the year. Back then, he had said something along the same lines as he had done in the conference of this PGA Championship. He had mentioned that he “just jarred it, and it’s been spasming ever since.”

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Do you think Woods would be able to play well at Valhalla starting this Thursday? He sure looks well-prepared for the showdown! Will you be rooting for the goat this weekend?

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Written by:

Pritha Halder

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Pritha Halder is a Golf writer at EssentiallySports. Specializing in covering the off-court life of PGA Tour players, she brings to life the drama, triumphs and challenges of this Gentlemen's game. Having completed her Bachelor's in English Language and Literature from a multidisciplinary university, Pritha started her career as a writer for a literary magazine, before delving into the world of Golf Her early interest in the sport blossomed after reading a New York Times article "Tiger Woods and the Game of Life".
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Edited by:

Riya Singhal

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