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Tiger Woods postpones comeback, says 'not yet ready'

Woods announcement comes just three days after the PGA Tour issued a statement confirming his participation at the Safeway Open in California this week. Photograph: (AFP)

Los Angeles, United States Oct 11, 2016, 03.50 PM (IST)

Tiger Woods on Monday announced that he will not be making a comeback saying he was not "yet ready" to play.

"After a lot of soul-searching and honest reflection, I know that I am not yet ready to play on the PGA Tour or compete in Turkey," said Woods, who was also due to take part in next month's Turkish Airlines Open in Antalya, AFP reported.

The delay in the much-awaited comeback by the professional golfer has raised questions about his ability to return the level of the sport he once ruled.

Woods announcement comes just three days after the PGA Tour issued a statement confirming his participation at the Safeway Open in California this week.

The number one said that concerns over his form rather than fitness were behind his decision to stay back. The 14-time major winner has been out of action since undergoing surgery last year to cure his long-standing back injury.

"My health is good, and I feel strong, but my game is vulnerable and not where it needs to be," said Woods, adding that he hoped to play in December's Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.

Woods said that he had intended to play but he realised he was not ready to compete against the world's best. "I spent a week with the US Ryder Cup Team, an honour and experience that inspired me even more to play. I practiced the last several days in California, but after a lot of hours, I knew I wasn't ready to compete against the best golfers in the world."

Woods apologised to Safeway Open, which had sold around 28,000 tickets after the golfer announced his comeback at the event. 

"I would like to apologise and send my regrets to Safeway, the Turkish Airlines Open, the fans in California and Turkey and those that had hoped to watch me compete on TV," Woods said. "I will continue to strive to be able to play tournament golf. I'm close and I won't stop until I get there."

Tournament host Johnny Miller admitted that Woods' absence would affect the event.

"Obviously it’s a huge impact on our tournament," Miller told the Golf Channel.  "Obviously I wish Tiger the best. Everybody was so excited in the golf world. It's hard to break that news. It really is. It's hard being Tiger Woods, especially if you can't back it up with a semblance of the old Tiger Woods." 

(WION with inputs from AFP)

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