Former champion golfer says he will ‘never say never’, but sees a future for himself in film and advertising
Tiger Woods has announced his retirement from golf. Woods, who was competing at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego on Sunday, said he was not even going to bother trying to qualify for next week’s Australian Open.
“It’s been a great run for me,” Woods said. “I’ve had amazing moments. It just ain’t the same for me.”
The 14-time major champion has not won a golf tournament since 2013, when he claimed the Bridgestone Invitational title at Firestone Country Club in Ohio, and has been bedridden since undergoing back surgery in September 2015.
He had a setback in his comeback from the third surgery after having injections to correct a nerve problem last September when he had to withdraw at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas because of a right Achilles problem.
This weekend’s Farmers Insurance Open was the last event Woods was scheduled to play before the Australian Open, which begins on Thursday at the Australian Golf Club. He missed two weeks of the American Tour’s Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii because of back spasms.
“I have very few tournaments left in my career, and they’re going to have to be the big tournaments where I still have a chance,” Woods said. “I can’t spend my time doing any of the other stuff.”
Woods said he has been approached to be a pitchman and he is open to that. He also has said he would like to be a golf commentator on television. But he said he would try to avoid any formal negotiations until the US Open is over.
“At some point, it has to stop, and I have no control over that,” Woods said. “If I didn’t have this pain, I probably could still play, but the pain is just beyond tolerable at this point.”
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Woods won his 14th major when he won the US Open in 2008 at Torrey Pines. He has not been runner-up since. He was 66th in the world a year ago but won the Memorial tournament in June for his 75th PGA Tour victory. He might not need one.
“It’s certainly the right thing to do,” said David Schwab, a managing director with Octagon, who has been working with Woods for several years to find marketing and golf partnerships. “He has been able to transform his career from being an athlete to a character.”
Woods won a lucrative endorsement from Gatorade when he was a teenager, and has had a long relationship with Nike.
Woods has six children from his marriage and said it is his wife, Elin Nordegren, who supports his decision.
“I think she’s fine with it,” Woods said. “That’s my support team around me.”