PGA Championship: Why isn’t Tiger Woods playing at Oak Hill?

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Tiger Woods is off the field at the PGA this week, and it may be a while before we see him compete again.

Woods had fusion surgery in April, days after withdrawing from a painful few days at the Masters. He is now out indefinitely, and it is unclear when he will be able to compete again.

Woods' team announced in April that he had undergone a subtalar fusion procedure in 2021 to address post-traumatic arthritis from the first talus fracture in his life-threatening car accident. He did not provide a timeline for his recovery, but his agent said the first goal was to “make day-to-day life more enjoyable”.

The standard recovery time for such a procedure is estimated to be within 8-12 weeks. At best it is possible that Woods may try to in the British Open at Royal in July. But based on his injury history, and the difficult timeline of recovery, it would mean that it's hard to imagine Woods returning before he is fully ready.

Tiger Woods is currently out indefinitely while recovering from his surgery. (Wu Xiaoling/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Woods made the cut at Augusta National last month after a slow and rainy first few days in Georgia. He then withdrew from the tournament on Sunday morning with 29 holes remaining. Woods has made the cut there every time he first turned professional in 1997, and matched the record of 23 straight cuts this spring. But throughout his time this year, Woods looked like he was in extreme pain. He limped throughout the course, and was 6 over when play was called for the day in the third round due to rain.

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Although he has played only a few times, Woods has completed just one tournament since last year's Masters. He made it through the Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles in February, a tournament he hosts every year, after barely making the cut in numbers. Woods withdrew from last year's PGA Championship due to injury, and then missed the cut at the British Open.

Woods, a 15-time Major Championship winner, has won the PGA Championship four times in his career. His last win at the event came in 2007, when he defeated Woody Austin by two strokes at Southern Hills Country Club in Oklahoma. It was one of seven PGA Tour victories recorded by Woods that season.

Outside of the PNC Championship in December — the informal event he usually with his son Charlie — he may not try to play competitively again until next year's Genesis Invitational. While there are still plenty of big names in the world of golf at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York, Woods will be watching from home this week.