Nicklaus: It will be very hard for Tiger to return

Jack Nicklaus has finally admitted that it will be very hard for Tiger Woods to return to competitive golf.

Nicklaus has long backed Woods to recover from his injury troubles and challenge for his all-time Major wins record.

But the golfing legend now acknowledges that Woods’ physical ailments and personal issues will make it very tough for him to return to the top level.

“He’ll have a very hard time,” Nicklaus told USA Today. “I don’t know whether Tiger will play much golf anymore.

“He might come back and play – I think it would be pretty tough for him, after getting (his spine) fused and as many problems as he has had recently.

“His are more life problems than they are golf problems right now.”

Woods recently confirmed he was entering a treatment facility to manage his usage of prescription medications for back pain.

It follows a May 29 arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence, after a police officer found him asleep at the wheel of his car with the engine running.

Woods has played just three professional rounds of golf since September 2015, while the last of his 14 major titles came nine years ago.

He will miss this week’s Quicken Loans National while continuing his current treatment, tournament officials confirmed. The American’s charity foundation stages the event, and he usually plays host.

“Tiger is a good kid. He cares about people. And we’ll just see what happens,” Nicklaus added.

“I hope he gets his life straightened out with the problems he has had and be able to lead a normal life, but also use what he has done and his legacy to help a lot of kids and a lot of other people.”