Golf News: Tiger Woods sitting out major tournaments anew; undergoes fourth surgery

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Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods looks on after teeing off on the 1st hole during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course. Reuters/ Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Tiger Woods is not expected to be in the golfing scene for quite some time after undergoing another back surgery. This will be his fourth surgery since March 2014. The 41-year-old underwent two back surgeries in the fall of 2015. 

The decision of Tiger Woods to undergo surgery is to address the recurring pain in his back and leg, ESPN reported. He is not expected to return this season with no timetable given. 

Ideally, patients suffering from the same problem return after six months but that means that Woods would miss out on all the majors for the second consecutive year.  The decision to undergo another surgery comes a bit of a surprise considering Woods was recently spotted taking two practice shots during a course design announcement in Missouri. 

The procedure was a minimally invasive Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (MIS ALIF) at L5/S1 done Wednesday by Dr. Richard Guyer from the Center for Disc Replacement at the Texas Bank Institute. It involved removing the damaged disc and re-elevating the collapsed disc space to normal levels. The goal is to relieve the pressure on the nerve and to give the nerve the best chance of healing. 

In a statement, Tiger Woods says the operation went well and hopes that it addresses his recurring back spasm problems. He is looking forward to recovering and return to a normal life, including competing in professional golf once more. 

Tiger Woods opted for surgery to address his bottom lower-back disc which was severely narrowed due to previous herniations and surgeries according to Tigerwoods.com. The 41-year-old golfer could have opted for conservative therapy (i.e. rehabilitation, medication) but Woods opted for surgery instead.

"The surgery went well, and I'm optimistic this will relieve my back spasms and pain," Woods said. "When healed, I look forward to getting back to a normal life, playing with my kids, competing in professional golf and living without the pain I have been battling so long."   

The 14-time major champion has not competed in the greens since Feb. 2 at the Dubai Desert Classic. Tiger Woods shot a 77 in the first round of the European Tour before he withdrew due to back spasms. In March, Woods announced he would be missing the Masters with rehabilitation preventing him from being tournament ready. 

With surgery now done and over with, Tiger Woods will be resting for several weeks before undergoing therapy and treatment. From there, Guyer adds that workouts will be geared towards allowing him to return to competitive golf.