Tiger Woods has not completely confirmed that he is returning to the links in June for the U.S. Open at Oakmont, but he’s done the next best thing by registering for the 116th annual event.
The 40-year-old, three-time U.S. Open champ has been recovering from a a series of back surgeries that have kept him out of the game since last September. While it isn’t for sure that he will be playing the open he only had until this month to register for the tournament in order to hedge his bets at the very least.
But Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, warned fans that the registration was “just procedural” and added, “No reason to read anything into this.”
Woods, whose 79 PGA Tour victories puts him behind only legendary golfer Sam Sneed’s 82 wins as history’s top golfer, had his last microdiscetomy surgery in Utah in September and a follow-up procedure in October.
But by some account Woods may return to the game before the mid-June tournament at Oakmont. Speculation has run rampant that the top golfer will first play at the June 2-5 Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio.
According to Golfweek, Woods has a winning record at the Memorial Tournament having won five titles there in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2009, and 2012.
Woods has been fighting back pain for years and even withdrew from the 2014 U.S. Open because of his back pain. The player also missed this year’s Masters for the same reason.
The number two golfer in history lost the 2007 U.S. Open to Angel Cabrera by only a single stroke the last time the tournament was held at Oakmont. And if he actually plays, Woods will have stiff competition as defending U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth will be vying to retain his standing this year.
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