World number six Rory McIlroy highly doubts Tiger Woods’s recent injury will push him into retirement.
The Northern Irishman was speaking to the press ahead of this weekend’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, from which Woods has withdrawn due to neck strain. And given the 14-time major champions’ plethora of back ailments, fans could be forgiven for thinking that ‘this is it’ all over again.
1) Unfortunately due to a neck strain that I’ve had for a few weeks, I'm forced to withdraw from the API. I’ve been receiving treatment, but it hasn't improved enough to play. My lower back is fine, and I have no long-term concerns, and I hope to be ready for The Players.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) March 4, 2019
However, when McIlroy was asked by the press if the recent injury would put Woods closer to retirement, they were met with an emphatic “Nope.”
Well that settles that then.
“I hope he’s OK,” continued McIlroy, who is the defending champion at Bay Hill this week.
“I saw him in Mexico getting treatment before and after he played; he did have some tape on his upper back.”
Meanwhile, Marc Leishman, the 2017 Arnold Palmer Invitational winner, believes Woods would have certainly played this weekend if he was able.
“I know if he could be here, he would…but the field is strong enough to be alright,” the Australian told AAP.
“Tiger adds to any tournament; it wouldn’t be fair to Tiger to say it won’t affect the event because I think the crowds might be a little smaller.”
Gary Woodland had one very special supporter cheering him on on Sunday. You might remember her.
Brooks Koepka came very close to winning his third straight US Open title at Pebble Beach on Sunday, but ultimately came off second best.
After scrambling his way through the first three rounds of the US Open, Justin Rose’s short game couldn’t save him again on Sunday.
Gary Woodland showed plenty of guts as he held off Brooks Koepka to win the US Open on Sunday.
Brooke Henderson clinched the ninth title of her impressive young career with a one-stroke victory at the LPGA Meijer Classic on Sunday.
Phil Mickelson’s career Grand Slam dreams faded once again at Pebble Beach on Saturday, but he couldn’t blame the USGA for it this time.
Rory McIlroy is far from ready to throw in the towel at the US Open, despite being five shots off the pace.
Brooks Koepka moved into tied-third place at the US Open on Saturday, spelling potential danger for the two players just ahead of him.
Overnight leader Gary Woodland managed to hold onto his lead at the US Open on Saturday, but there are some big names lurking right behind.