To almost no one’s surprise, Tiger Woods announced on Wednesday that he would not compete in this year’s U.S. Open at Pinehurst, NC next month. Woods continues to rehab after having back surgery to repair a pinched nerve on March 31.
This is the second major tournament Tiger Woods will miss because of the surgery, and the sixth major tournament that he has missed due to injury. Two were missed following his PGA Championship win in 2008 for a knee injury, and he missed another two in 2011 with ailments in his knee and Achilles. The last time Woods played was March 9 in the final round of the WBC Cadillac Championship.
The announcement was made Wednesday on the Tiger Woods website, with comments from Woods, saying that he is not yet ready to play competitive golf. “The U.S. Open is very important to me,” he said, “and I know it’s going to be a great week.” Woods added that despite the fact that he has missed the first two majors of the year, and several others, he remains “very optimistic about this year and my future.” The next major after the U.S. Open is the British Open July 13-20 at Royal Liverpool.
Big names dominate Memorial Tournament – Mostly because it is Jack Nicklaus’ tournament, a majority of the big names in golf, besides Tiger Woods of course, will be at the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, OH, this weekend. Matt Kuchar is the defending champion and he will play the first two days paired with a pair of other past Memorial champions, Justin Rose and Steve Stricker. The threesome will tee off at the Muirfield Village golf course at 8:26 a.m. ET.
One of the more interesting pairings will take to the course at 1:16 on Thursday. No. 1-ranked Adam Scott will play with last week’s BMW Championship winner Rory McIlroy and Jason Day, who has played only once since he won the Accenture Match Play Championship in February. Day injured his thumb and has played only in the Masters, where he finished tied for 20th.
Phil Mickelson will try and find his game again this weekend. He’ll be playing with Jordan Spieth and Bill Haas, commencing at 1:05 in the first round on Thursday. Masters Champ Bubba Watson is in the field for the Memorial, and will play the first two rounds alongside Keegan Bradley and Jim Furyk.
Although it is impossible to know who will come out on top in the tournament, one sure bet is that there will be rain delays. The turbulent spring weather in the Midwest seems to wreak havoc on the Golden Bear’s parade without fail each year.
Crimson Tide rolls again – For the second year in a row, Alabama is the NCAA team golf champion. The Tide linksters beat Oklahoma State rather handily on Wednesday, 4-1, in the finals of the 2014 tournament at Prairie Dunes in Hutchinson, KS. One of the standouts for Alabama was freshman Robby Shelton, who birdied six of his final seven holes to secure a 1-up victory over the Cowboys’ Zachary Olsen.
This is developing into somewhat of a dynasty for the Crimson Tide. Before winning the last two NCAA crowns, they finished second in 2012.
Golf Shots is a daily series which provides analysis and commentary on the PGA tour and golf-related topics all year long.
Commentary by Chuck Podhaisky