Tiger Woods ditched comeback due to ‘mental anguish’ says Luke Donald

Luke Donald believes “mental anguish” could be behind the decision of Tiger Woods to pull out of his comeback at the Safeway Open.

Woods has had three back operations in the space of 19 months and the former world No1 has not played competitively since August last year. He had planned to play in California this week and in the Turkish Airlines Open on the European Tour in November, but said on Monday he was not ready to compete. “My health is good and I feel strong but my game is vulnerable and not where it needs to be,” Woods said on his website.

Donald, who had a career-threatening wrist injury in 2008, said: “It sounds like clinically he feels fine. He’s just not quite ready to tee it up from a mental standpoint perhaps. That’s certainly what I gathered from his comments. There’s a lot of mental anguish when you take time away. I think obviously Tiger’s got very high standards and expectations.

“I think that you have to weigh that up with that feel of almost failure or fear or anxiety of not performing well. If Tiger Woods is healthy like he says he is, that’s probably what he’s weighing out right now, just feeling comfortable. It’s really hard to get comfortable unless you actually put yourself through it. At some point he’s got to jump in, and if he messes up, he’s got a good opportunity to get better the next time he plays.”

England’s Chris Wood saw Woods during the Ryder Cup when the 40-year-old was one of Davis Love’s vice-captains and hopes this latest setback does not mark the end of Woods’s career.

“He seemed fine at the Ryder Cup, but you never know with Tiger,” Wood said. “It’s really disappointing because I was ready to watch it and it would have been great for the European Tour for him to play in Turkey in his second event back.

“It is really disappointing for myself as a golf fan to not be able to sit down and watch him play, because he was my golfing hero. He won the Masters when I was 10 years old, so from that point on he’s the only guy I’ve ever looked up to really. And he doesn’t deserve for his career to come to a finish in this way. He deserves to go out in all the style that his records still deserve.”

Source: Theguardian.com

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