Tiger Out for This Year’s Farmers
The Farmer’s Open will see a star-studded field vying for an early-season victory on the West Coast Swing including 23 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings and 16 of the top 30 golfers in the 2020-21 FedExCup points standings.
However, the man who has won more Farmers Open’s than anyone will not be attending. That’s right, Tiger Woods will sit this one out after undergoing a microdiscectomy to relieve nerve pain in his lower back and will likely be sidelined for several weeks, forcing him to skip the Genesis Invitational being held next month as well. Many of the online sportsbooks had Woods as one of the top choices to win the Farmers for a record eighth time.
Fellow superstar and personal friend, Rory McIlroy, revealed in a presser before the Abu Dhabi Championship that he believed the procedure took place on December 23rd and is the same one he has had three times before, once in 2014 and two more in 2015. However, this procedure is far less invasive and severe than the spinal fusion he underwent in 2017.
McIlroy stated, “Obviously [I’m]pretty close with him. So yeah, I think in his words, it was a small procedure, so I don’t think it’s anything that — obviously any time you’re being cut into, obviously try to avoid that as much as you can. But yeah, he was back on his feet the next day and he was — so I don’t think we can read too much into it.
“It was just something that was a — I think they were just trying to clean a couple little bits up. Obviously, he won’t be playing for the next couple of months, but he should be back for the Masters, if not before that. So yeah, I think he’ll be just fine.”
According to another one of Tiger’s friends, Notah Begay, the back stiffness that plagued him throughout 2020 took a toll and one that needed to be dealt with before he could embark on another season. According to Begay, Tiger’s club speed dwindled to 115 miles per hour at several points during the year and it was evident that something needed to be done if he was going to continue playing at a high level.
“It was like the first time in 30 years that he swung that slow,” Begay said. “And that was due to a lot of factors. Old age was one of them. But having nerve pain in your body is going to prevent you into putting everything you can into the swing. This surgery relieved a lot of discomfort.”
Rahm Likely to Return to Farmers After Injury
Jon Rahm withdrew from the American Express last week shortly before the tournament was scheduled to begin and it made more than a little bit of noise considering Rahm is the No. 2 player in the world and he was the central figure in the event.
“Truth is, I hurt myself in the gym on Friday. I’m taking time off now trying to be smart. I could play right now but I don’t want to make it worse,” Rahm told Sirius XM Radio’s, Colt Knost. “I’m feeling good, just not 100 percent. I could play and make the cut, maybe even a top 20, but if I don’t think I can win then no point in playing.”
Rahm expects to be grippin’ it and rippin’ it at the Farmers Open stating that he felt a little time off was the best thing for his body to be fully prepared for the rigors of the PGA Tour. The 26-year-old Spanish native won the Farmers Open back in 2017 when he shot 13 under par and bested American Charles Howell III and Taiwan’s C.T Pan by three strokes.
Due to new California COVID-19 protocols, players will not be allowed to have spouses, family, or friends on site. Moreover, independent trainers and therapists will also be prohibited from attending which will put those struggling with muscle and backaches at a significant disadvantage throughout the event.