Tiger Woods has until his Thursday tee time to decide if he’ll play in PGA Championship
The PGA of America has granted a request from Tiger Woods’ team that will allow the gimpy golfer an extension to decide whether he’ll compete in the PGA Championship, The Guardian reports.
Golfers were expected to confirm that they would be competing at Valhalla before 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday, but with the extension, Woods will be able to wait it out until about 10 minutes before his 8:35 a.m. ET tee time on Thursday to see if his wonky back is in good enough condition to compete, pretty much right up until he’s set to take the course. Talk about cutting it close.
Woods withdrew in the middle of his final round on Sunday at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational after he allegedly injured his surgically-repaired back on an awkward bunker shot that left him stumbling back into the trap before staggering back up out of it.
The golfer could scarcely change his shoes once he was escorted back to his car on a cart following the withdrawal, something that is turning into a troubling trend as Woods’ body appears to be breaking down with age.
Woods traveled back to Florida to have his back examined but no word has surfaced the substance of those evaluations nor if the condition of his back is improving.
Despite the uncertainty regarding whether Woods will be able to compete this week, his caddie Joe LaCava was spotted patrolling Valhalla earlier this week, mapping out distances and charting the course just in case Tiger is able to play. LaCava said he is “optimistic” Tiger will play, referring to his boss as “tough and stubborn.”
At this point, despite LaCava’s hopes, the odds appear slim if Woods did in fact tweak his back on Sunday. But the extension granted by the PGA of America certainly gives the golfer a significantly longer amount of time to determine whether or not he’s good to go.
Either way, the continuing injury issues Tiger seems to not be able to get out ahead of certainly does not bode well for the golfer, both for his chances of cracking the Ryder Cup team this fall and his long-term, competitive future.
UPDATE: Tiger Woods has been spotted at Valhalla, increasing the likelihood that he will play this week (via Eye on Golf):
BREAKING: Four-time PGA champion Tiger Woods has arrived at Valhalla Golf Club for the 96th PGA Championship.
— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) August 6, 2014
@TigerWoods will meet swing coach Sean Foley on the first tee at Valhalla for a practice round at 2:00 pm.
— Todd Lewis (@ToddLewisGC) August 6, 2014