Should ailing Tiger give up on golf?

Tiger Woods

To almost no one’s surprise, Tiger Woods will miss his third Masters in four years because of back issues.

Here’s what Woods had to say about it:

I did about everything I could to play, but my back rehabilitation didn’t allow me the time to get tournament ready. I’m especially upset because it’s a special anniversary for me that’s filled with a lot of great memories. I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since I won my first green jacket. I have no timetable for my return, but I will continue my diligent effort to recover, and want to get back out there as soon as possible.

Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, told ESPN on Friday night that Woods was cleared by his doctors and therapists to play and that the back spasms that sidelined him in February and plagued him for a few weeks had subsided.

“He was grinding pretty hard on this one. Because the Masters has such a special place in his heart, and because it’s been such a special tournament for him, he really wanted to try and be there. And knowing the course so well, the local knowledge, he figured he had a chance to play. He grinded on this up until today.”

Golf Digest’s Sam Weinman counters with a report that Tiger wasn’t remotely close to being able to play:

What may be surprising is that Woods did attempt to test his game in two practice sessions at Medalist Golf Club near his Jupiter Island, Fla., home. In addition to training and working on his wedge game hitting shorter clubs at home since prior to the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Woods did attempt to test out his driver swing in his first two practice sessions at Medalist. According to sources who spoke with Golf World’s Tim Rosaforte, Woods appeared stiff and the second session on Thursday lasted in the five-minute range.

CBS Sports’ Kyle Porter says Woods’ announcement is not shocking:

Tiger has been out of commission for some time:

This is why Tiger probably won’t catch Jack Nicklaus:

The news is sad considering where Tiger was 20 years ago:

This is even sadder:

ESPN’s Bob Harig says it truly is a disappointment can’t play next week:

Here’s more reaction from Twitter:

With so many injuries, some are asking whether Tiger should just call it quits. In February, golf analyst Ron Mintz tweeted this:

Fox Sports’ Dieter Kurtenbach says it’s time:

The PGA Tour has tried to move on from Woods, but every time it seemed close to getting over the hump, Woods came back and reset the whole process. He’s golf’s cruel ex-girlfriend, coming back to ruin new relationships at the worst possible time, every time. The cycle needs to be broken. Woods’ in-and-out status is hurting the game. … And while Woods is a vicious competitor, for the sake of the game and in fairness to his peers, he should see the writing on the wall and formally retire.

SB Nation’s Emily Kay depressingly points out that even if Tiger does return, he’ll likely never be the same player:

Whether Woods makes a statement announcing his retirement, or continues shuffling and grimacing around golf courses in depressing, failed attempts to make cuts for the next however many weeks, months, years, it’s pretty clear to those watching him try to recapture the long-gone glory days of the playing career of the greatest golfer of his generation, if not all time, is over.

What do you think? Should Tiger retire?

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