NEW YORK, (Reuters) – Tiger Woods is unsure when he will play golf again after a painful neck injury forced him to quit the Players Championship in Florida on Sunday.
The world number one said he would undergo scans this week to determine the full extent of the problem.
“A lot is up in the air still, which I don’t like,” Woods told a news conference in Pennsylvania on Monday.
“I still need to go home and get a picture of this and see what’s going on.”
The American said he had been troubled by neck pain since returning from self-imposed exile at last month’s U.S. Masters but added it was not related to the car crash outside his home last year that led to revelations about his infidelities.
”Zero connection. Absolutely zero,” said Woods. “My neck started to bother me when I really started to practice a lot.”
Woods finished tied fourth on his return from a five-month absence at Augusta National but has struggled since, missing the cut at the Quail Hollow Championship in North Carolina before pulling out during his final round at Sawgrass on Sunday.
“I can deal with the pain but once it locked up I couldn’t move back or through. I couldn’t actually turn, going back, and I couldn’t turn coming through,” he said.
“For me not to play all 18 holes, that was as angry and as frustrated as I’ve been in a long time.
“I’m going to start getting more treatment. I’ll have an MRI scan on it and see exactly what’s going on, why it’s behaving the way it’s behaving.”
Woods said he had planned to make his next appearance at the Memorial Tournament in Ohio next month, an event he won last year, then head to Pebble Beach for the U.S. Open but his plans were now dependent on the test results.
“It actually started bugging me two weeks before the Masters and it was just on and off. I thought it was just sore and no big deal,” he said.
“But as I kept playing, kept practising, it never got better. It actually was getting worse and now I’m at a point where I just can’t go on any more.”
It is the latest setback for Woods who has struggled with his knees in recent seasons and is still facing intense scrutiny over his extra-marital affairs.
“There’s a lot of things going on in my life and I’m just trying to get everything in a harmonious spot and that’s not easy to do,” said the 14-times major winner.
“I’m also trying to make life changes as well and trying to do that under the microscope of everyone asking me and watching everything I do doesn’t make it easy.”