Tiger Woods, the world's No. 1 golfer, could miss his second consecutive major PGA tournament, the U.S. Open, as he recovers from back surgery, said his close friend Notah Begay III.
Begay, a former Stanford University teammate of Woods and PGA golfer, told CBS Radio
he had suffered a similar back injury and said Woods will need as many as 90 days to bounce back.
"It's like just having a constant toothache for 24 hours a day," Begay told "The Morning Show" on CBS Radio. "You can't sleep. You can't really get comfortable in any position – seated or lying down. I think he's just at the point where something needed to be done."
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Begay said at the current timetable Woods would miss the U.S. Open and would not leave him little time to prepare for the British Open. The U.S. Open will be held at Pinehurst, N.C., on June 12-15, and the British Open at Hoylake, England, on July 17-20.
"I've been in contact with him this week," said Begay. "He missed being at Augusta and certainly was watching the tournament, (but) I think he needs to give (his back) a minimum of 90 days to make sure that scar tissue heals up appropriately and he doesn't run the risk of re-injuring it. So that would push him past the U.S. Open."
Woods pulled out of the Masters, missing the tournament for the first time in his career
. The surgery on his pinched back had bothered him for months.
Woods, with 14 majors wins over his career, trails Jack Nicklaus by four for the all-time record. His 79 PGA Tour wins is three behind Sam Snead's record of 82.
"The window's closing," said Begay. "He's much closer to the end of his career. I think a lot of people's eyes were opened this week with just how much Phil Mickleson struggled. (We all know) how much he prepares for the Masters, and he wants to be in peak physical condition and he wants his game to be clicking on all cylinders. And he just went out there and he really struggled."
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