Tiger Woods withdrew from the 2010 Players Championship during the final round on the seventh hole due to neck pain that was later revealed in a MRI to be inflamed. Since the diagnosis, Woods’ playing schedule remained up in the air, with anyone’s guess as to when he could possibly make his return.
Multiple outlets now report however that Woods has committed to the Memorial Tournament hosted by Jack Nicklaus at the beginning of June.
By the time Woods tees it up at the event, nearly a month will have gone by since the world’s top-ranked player teed it up in competition.
Woods won the Memorial Tournament last year and will come back to try and defend his title.
Woods has made three starts on the 2010 PGA Tour, returning from a five-month self-imposed absence to compete in April at the Masters. There, Woods tabbed a fourth place finish and was in contention throughout the week.
Then things shifted for the 14-time major winner, as he missed the cut for only the sixth time in this professional career, after carding a 79 in the second round of the Quail Hollow Championship.
At the Players Championship, prior to withdrawing, Woods made the cut, but was never considered a factor throughout the week. He was a full 10 shots behind the leaders at the time he walked off the golf course.
The Memorial Tournament is largely considered a measuring stick for analysts as the 2010 U.S Open approaches in mid-June at Pebble Beach. Last time the U.S Open was contested at Pebble Beach was in 2000, where Woods won his first of three titles. He finished 12-under par and won by a record 15-shot margin.
Now, Woods continues to rehab his neck to get back to competition.
“I want to thank everyone for their caring and concern,” Woods said by way of his website. “I now need to take care of this condition and will return to playing golf when I’m physically able.”
Another speed bump for Woods is the fact that his coach Hank Haney resigned, and declared that he and Woods would no longer be working together.
It is uncertain the direction Woods will go about bringing in a new coach.
Woods has also committed to playing in a nine-hole exhibition match at the British Open in July during the week leading up to the first round on Thursday.
“We’re very pleased that there will be such a distinguished and full field for this special occasion,” remarked the R&A’s chief executive, Peter Dawson. “We have six more Open Champions taking part in this special celebration than there were a decade ago at the Millennium Open. It’s sure to be a wonderful celebration befitting the 150th anniversary of golf’s oldest Major.”
Several notable names will be included in the event, such as Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, Tom Watson and Gary Player.
Woods and world’s No.2 Phil Mickelson have been installed as the betting favorites on Online Sportsbooks to win the 2010 U.S Open at Pebble Beach.