Notah Begay says Tiger Woods could return next month

Tiger Woods 2017 Masters Getty Images

Notah Begay says Tiger Woods could return next month

PGA Tour

Notah Begay says Tiger Woods could return next month

AUGUSTA, Ga. – The news that Tiger Woods would not compete in the 2017 Masters essentially due to back issues was a disappointment.

But there was hope considering Woods’ statement said lack of preparation time, rather than continued rehabilitation, was the reason for his withdrawal.

Even more good signs have appeared. Notah Begay III, Woods’ former college teammate and a current NBC/Golf Channel analyst, went on The Rich Eisen Show on Friday and spoke about the 14-time major champion’s future.

Woods came back to competitive golf following a 16-month absence in December at the Hero World Challenge, but he hasn’t played a tournament since he withdrew from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in early February with a back spasm.

So when will Tiger return this time? According to Begay, it may be as soon as next month.

“(The Masters) probably wouldn’t have been the best place for Tiger to start the year out after this most recent setback,” Begay told Eisen. “I think we should probably look, maybe something just after the Players Championship.”

For the record, the Players Championship is set to take place May 11-14. If it’s just after we’re talking about, the following week brings the AT&T Byron Nelson – an event Woods hasn’t competed in since 2005. The next week is the Dean & DeLuca Invitational, a tournament Woods hasn’t competed in since 1997.

As for whether Woods could show up for the U.S. Open, set for Erin Hills in Erin, Wis., from June 15-18, Begay was optimistic there as well.

“Oh, it’s a definite possibility,” Begay said. “That’s probably the event that’s circled on his calendar, but he’s got to at least get one or two starts in before that to see where his body, where his game’s at and if he can hit the shots he wants to hit.”

It’s always tough to tell with Woods, but at least the signs are positive. We’ll see.

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