Golf: Tiger's agent slams 'ridiculous' rumours on his health

Tiger Woods attending the match between Rafael Nadal of Spain and Fabio Fognini of Italy during the 2015 US Open.
Tiger Woods attending the match between Rafael Nadal of Spain and Fabio Fognini of Italy during the 2015 US Open.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES • Tweets indicating Tiger Woods has suffered a serious setback in his return from a third back operation are "absolutely false" said the 14-time Major golf champion's agent Mark Steinberg on Monday.

Twitter posts from two different handles - one of them long-time golf writer Robert Lusetich - suggested the golf superstar's rehabilitation was not going well and his condition had deteriorated.

"The tweets that appeared this weekend about Tiger's health are ridiculous, and absolutely false," Steinberg said in a statement. "It's reprehensible that every few months someone makes something up and it's treated like a real story.

"Tiger continues to work on his rehabilitation and we will have an accurate update at the appropriate time."

According to the Twitter handle Secret Tour Pro, Woods was eyeing a return to golf in May at the Players Championship in Florida but that plan has been scrapped due to the lack of progress with his health.

Lusetich posted in a tweet: "I'm told #TigerWoods condition worsened. He can't move well; painful to sit. Sits in car with seat fully reclined. No forseeable return. Sad."

As recently as last Friday, Steinberg told ESPN there was no update on Woods. The former world No. 1 has not played competitively since last August, when he tied for 10th at the Wyndham Championship.

Woods, who turned 40 in December, had microdiscectomy surgery in March 2014 to treat a herniated disc. He underwent a second procedure in September last year to deal with a disc fragment that was pinching a nerve, and six weeks later underwent another procedure to address continuing discomfort.

He said during the World Challenge tournament he hosted in December that there was no timetable for his return, telling reporters: "Where is the light at the end of the tunnel? I don't know."

Woods's 14 Major titles - the last won in 2008 - are four shy of Jack Nicklaus' record of 18. He owns 79 PGA Tour victories, three off the career-best held by Sam Snead, the most recent coming at the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational in 2013.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 24, 2016, with the headline 'Tiger's agent slams 'ridiculous' rumours on his health'. Print Edition | Subscribe