15 June 2019
Tiger’s Injury Timeline
In early March, Tiger Woods withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a neck strain, adding to the long list of injuries that have resulted in four back surgeries for the former world number one. Almost one year on from his last back surgery, this latest injury once again raised concerns that Tiger could withdraw from competitive golf.
Tiger took to Twitter to dismiss the idea. “Unfortunately due to a neck strain that I've had for a few weeks, I'm forced to withdraw from the API,” he wrote on Twitter. “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.”
Just one month later, he stood at the prize giving ceremony at Augusta National and donned his fifth green jacket, his injuries a fading memory, for now at least.
Here’s a timeline of Tiger’s physical battle to get back on top:
December 1994: Tiger undergoes surgery on his left knee to remove two benign tumors and scar tissue.
December 13, 2002: Another surgery on his left knee to remove fluid inside and outside the ACL and to remove benign cysts. Misses the season opener in 2003.
August 2007: Ruptures the ACL in his left knee while running on a golf course after the British Open, but is able to keep playing. Wins five of the last six tournaments he plays, including the PGA Championship for his 13th major.
April 15, 2008: Two days after the Masters, has arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to repair cartilage damage.
May 2008: Advised weeks before the US Open that he has two stress fractures of the left tibia and should rest for six weeks, the first three weeks on crutches.
June 24, 2008: Eight days after winning the US Open, has surgery to repair the ACL in his left knee by using a tendon from his right thigh. Misses the rest of the season.
December 2008: Injured his Achilles tendon in his right leg as he was running while preparing to return to golf.
November 27, 2009: Hospitalized overnight with a sore neck and a cut lip that required five stitches when the SUV he was driving ran over a fire hydrant and crashed into a tree.
May 9, 2010: Withdraws from the final round of The Players Championship, citing a bulging disk. He later said it was a neck issue that caused tingling in his right side.
April 10, 2011: Injures his left Achilles tendon hitting from an awkward stance below Eisenhower's Tree on the 17th at Augusta National. Withdraws from the Wells Fargo Championship.
May 12, 2011: Withdraws from The Players Championship after a 42 on the front nine. Diagnosed with an MCL sprain in his left knee and in his left Achilles tendon. He misses the next two months, including two majors.
March 11, 2012: Feels tightness in his left Achilles tendon and withdraws after 11 holes of the final round in the Cadillac Championship at Doral. He wins in his next start at Bay Hill, his first PGA Tour victory since the scandal in his personal life.
August 24, 2012: Moves stiffly during the second round of The Barclays and later says he felt pain in his lower back, which he attributed to a soft mattress in his hotel room.
June 13, 2013: During the US Open, he has left elbow strain that he says he acquired while winning The Players Championship a month earlier. He misses two tournaments and returns at the British Open.
August 21, 2013: Two weeks after the PGA Championship, he complains of a stiff neck from sleeping on a soft hotel bed. On Sunday at The Barclays he hits a shot severely left and drops to his knees blaming back spasms.
March 2, 2014: Withdraws after 13 holes of the final round at The Honda Classic because of lower back pain and spams, describing it as similar to what he felt at The Barclays.
March 9, 2014: Plays the final 12 holes with pain in his lower back in the Cadillac Championship at Doral. He shoots 78, the highest score of his career in a final round.
March 19, 2014: Withdraws from the Arnold Palmer Invitational because of the persistent pain in his back. He was the two-time defending champion.
March 31, 2014: Goes to the operating table in Utah for a pinched nerve.
April 1, 2014: Announces he will miss the Masters and not return to golf until the summer.
February 5, 2015: Woods walks off the course at the Farmers Insurance Open after just 11 holes. He cites a back injury but says it was caused by him not being able to get his glutes to “activate” as a result of waiting around in the cool weather.
September 18, 2015: Announces he underwent a second micro-discectomy surgery two days earlier to remove a disc fragment that was pinching his nerve.
October 2015: Woods has a procedure to "relieve discomfort" in his back. No timetable for his return to the PGA Tour.
February 3, 2017: Following an opening round of 77, Woods withdraws from the Dubai Desert Classic before the start of the second round due to back spasms.
April 20, 2017: Woods undergoes a fourth back surgery. The spinal fusion, labeled "a success" was to alleviate the pain he had been experiencing in his back and leg.
March 4, 2019: Withdraws from the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a neck strain.