Posted April 16, 2014

Tim Finchem Doubts Tiger Woods Will Return Before July

News, Tiger
Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods reacts to his tee shot on the first hole during the final round of the 2014 WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral. (Getty Images)

The Masters might not be the only major Tiger Woods misses before he returns “sometime this summer” after surgery to repair a pinched nerve in his back on March 31.

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said on Wednesday that he would be surprised if Tiger Woods teed it up in the next two months, a timetable that would force him to miss both the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass and the U.S. Open at Pinehurst.

“That injury is one that you don’t want to come back too soon for,” Finchem said on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive. “That’s the last thing you want to do. I think it’s going to be a little while for Tiger. And I’d seriously doubt we’re going to see him play golf in May or June.”

Those comments echoed the thoughts of Woods’ close friend Notah Begay, who told CBS Radio on Monday morning he “thinks he needs to give (his back) a minimum of 90 days to make sure that scar tissue heals up appropriately and he doesn’t run the risk of re-injuring it.”

Finchem managed to find some positives in Woods’ absence, even in the wake of the 24 percent dip in Masters TV ratings as the Tiger-less final round drew its smallest audience since 2004.

“Last week at Augusta was a good indication of when Tiger is not in the field — because everyone wants to watch Tiger — it opens the door for exposure for other players,” he said. “The attention that they got, the focus that they got, it helped build them into stars for the future. It really grows a lot without Tiger. I’d much rather have Tiger playing, don’t misunderstand me, but there is that benefit to creating stars, and creating stars is our future.”

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12 comments
CarrieJKinney
CarrieJKinney

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Reedster
Reedster

Tigger hasn't been, and won't be back since his Escalade was hit by a three iron. Golf is, and will be better off without him.

tommyrogo
tommyrogo

With Tiger not in the Masters, what stars shined that we already didn't know about?  Jonas Blixt, yes.  Who else?  The supposed stars either missed the cut or in the case of Kooch, screwed the pooch.  Nice try Finchem.  The most boring Masters I can remember.  

Everybody saying the Masters is bigger than one player is true.  But there is only one player who can move the golf needle, and ratings, and his name is Tiger Woods.  Golf still needs him.  Chasing the most coveted record in golf trumps any of these supposed young stars.  Let's just admit it!

macer
macer

@Reedster

Reedster,

Golly, PGA Tour professionals voted Tiger Woods the PGA Tour Player of the Year in 2013 as Tiger won five times.  Moreover, Tiger was voted Player of the Year over Phil Mickelson (The People's Choice and Mr. Trustworthy) and Adam Scott, both of whom won a major and one other title last year.

Golf has been better since Tiger joined the tour because he raised the bar for other players, grew the game, and generated more followers of golf.  Golf will be better should Tiger return because many golf patrons enjoy watching history in the making following the second greatest player in golf!

The Computer Store Owner
The Computer Store Owner

@tommyrogo  Not gonna admit something I don't believe.  Golf doesn't need Tiger.  And the long-term best thing that could happen to golf is for Tiger to retire today.  My opinion.  I respect your right to hold a different one.

dorado
dorado

@The Computer Store Owner @tommyrogo  hey, CSO, it's obvious that you need tiger.  you're the one generating the most comments on every tiger woods story.  i think you're more obsessed with him than his own fans.  advertisers thank you for that!

Serge_Storms
Serge_Storms

@The Computer Store Owner @tommyrogo CSO, you are correct, golf doesn't need Tiger.  But it is obvious golf wants Tiger, really bad.  The fans want him for the show, the people in neckties want him for the dough.  And you want him as much as anyone, I'm pretty sure more than half your posts are about Tiger.

edward.rinaldi
edward.rinaldi

@The Computer Store Owner @tommyrogo  Golf is a declining participatory sport throughout the world, with the possible exception of Asia. In the West, particularly in the U.S., it is too white and too affluent for the average fan to grasp onto. Does golf as a televised event, become a much better product to view with a "Darth Vader" type to root for or against? Yes, it most certainly does.  P.S. Mr./Mrs. Computer Store Owner...you might want to try and leave the sanctity at home...we live in a market driven world.

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