Tiger Woods has fourth surgery on back
Two days after saying his back was progressing, Tiger Woods has had a fourth back surgery to alleviate pain and is likely to go through another year without playing a major.
Woods said on his website Thursday the operation was done Wednesday at the Texas Back Institute outside Dallas.
He was in Missouri on Tuesday to announce plans to design a public golf course at Big Cedar Lodge, and Woods even tried hitting a few shots to a par 3. The first one rattled around in the rocks, and the second shot was about 10 feet from the flag.
The announcement on his website said typical recovery from single-level fusion surgery is six months.
“The surgery went well, and I’m optimistic this will relieve my back spasms and pain,” Woods said.
“When healed, I look forward to getting back to a normal life, playing with my kids, competing in professional golf and living without the pain I have been battling so long.”
Woods first had back surgery — a microdiscectomy — a week before the 2014 Masters, and he tried to return in three months.
He sat out three months at the end of 2014 to let his body fully heal.
But after a 2015 season in which he missed the cut in three majors, he had back surgery in September and another one in October.
He went 15 months without competition before returning in December at his Hero World Challenge. Woods missed the cut at Torrey Pines in January, then withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic on Feb. 3 after opening with a 77, citing back spasms.
The statement on his website said Woods’ bottom disc in his lower back has severely narrowed, causing sciatica and severe pain in his back and legs.
Woods opted for a fourth surgery when more conservative therapy, such as rest and injections, failed to solve anything.
Branden Grace led the Texas Open in San Antonio by one shot over four players after shooting a 6-under 66.
Ryan Brehm (Michigan State) was at 1-under 71 and Brian Stuard (Jackson, Oakland University) was at 2 over.
Bubba Watson fired a 6-under 66 in the first round to take a one-stroke lead at the Shenzhen International in China. Play was suspended for almost two hours due to the threat of lightning at Genzon Golf Club.